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All Rights Reserved 

Published February, 1921 

Composed and Printed By 

The University of Chicago Pfresa 

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 









My purpose in this w^rk is to show the influence of the press upon 
the political life of Japan. For such success as I have attained in over- 
coming the great difficulties caused by the complexity of the problem 
and the lack of access (owing to my residence in America) to the original 
Japanese sources, I am chiefly indebted to my younger brother Sukejuro 
Kawabe, who, for four years, has constantly labored in Japan to supply 
me with the necessary information and materials. It was through his 
untiring co-operation that I was enabled to complete this book. 

Special acknowledgment is due also to Dr. Robert E. Park of the 
Department of Sociology of the University of Chicago for his kind criti- 
cisms and valuable suggestions. For the improvement of the style I 
owe much to Mr. Joseph B. Shine, A.M., and to Miss Katherine 
Bartholomew, Ph.B. To the authors and publishers whose books and 
periodical articles are quoted or referred to in this work, and to all 
those who have given me assistance in one way or another, but whose 
names do not appear here, I take this opportunity to express my 







The r61e of the press In politics; the press and the political 
development of New Japan 

The press and the other means of communication; communi- 
cation in the Very Early Period; the reform in Taika; the Toku- 
gawa Period ; education and the press ; education in the Very Early 
Period; the code of the Taiho Era; the invention of ktina and the 
development of a vernacular literature; the Tokugawa Period. 


The forerunners of the newspapers; the song; scribbling; 
tile-block prints; the ballad; the "joke book" and the "yellow 
cover"; the lampoon; official journals; private newspapers; 
the influence of these devices. 



Public opinion in Old Japan; the national-seclusion policy; 
Russian and English 'expeditions; Commodore Perry's visit and 
the first treaty of commerce; Townsend Harris; Minister li's 
coup d^tat; the factors which worked destruction to the Tokugawa 
regime; restoration of the pqlitical power by Shogun Keiki to the 
Emperor; ignorance of the people in regard to political changes. 



The modern postal system; the telegraph; the telephone; 
the railroad; water transportation; highways; vehicles; public- 
school education; school attendance; recent improvements in 
the system of higher education; libraries. 





Appearance of the modern newspaper; translation of Western 
newspapers; the official gazette; the first private newspaper; 
Joseph Hikozo and GinkoKishida; Berry and the BankokuSMmbun; 
the first magazine; difficulties with the early newspapers; dis- 
covery of movable lead types; early method of publication; 
news carriers of the Early Period; the "Great-Newspaper" and 1 
the "Small-Newspaper"; the newspaper dictionary; origin of 
commercial advertisements; early newspaper advertisements; 
the increase in circulation. 

Conflicts between Tokugawa's adherents and western daimyo; 
expedition of the Imperial Army and the conclusion of peace; 
origin of free speech; the Charter Oath of five articles; the 
restoration of feudal fiefs to the Emperor; abolition of the feudal 
system and the establishment of the prefect ural governments; 
lower-class samurai the innovators; contemptuous attitude taken 
by the neighboring states toward Japan; the Korean incidents 
and the split of national opinion; insurrection of Ito at Saga; 
the Formosa expedition and the conflict with China; internal 
discontent; rebellion of General Saigo's students; assassination 
of Minister Okubo; the newspapers and Okubo's assassination; 
the manifesto of the assassins; rigorous newspaper censorship; 
lack of communication a cause of disorder. 


The newspaper as a political force; radicals and malcontents 
as journalists; rise of the social position of journalists; Fukuchi 
and the Koko Skimbun; the first prosecution of a newspaper and 
a journalist; examples of violent editorials; effort of the authori- 
ties to make the central government strong; memorials requesting 
the establishment of a national assembly; establishment of a 
senate and a supreme court as reassuring measures; press-law 
revision and strict censorship; editorials of radical ideas; growth 
of public discussion; Western philosophy and political fiction; 



newspaper propaganda for the establishment of a national 
assembly; petitions by the people requesting the establishment 
of a national assembly; public-meeting regulations; Okuma's 
plot and his expulsion; rise of political parties and the party- 
organ press; establishment of the cabinet form of government; 
Daido Danketsu (United party); peace-preservation law and 
banishment of political agitators from Tokyo; promulgation of 
the Imperial Constitution; treaty-revision problem; the consti- 
tutional movement a result of the development of the press; 
growth of the party-organ press; editorial writers highly respected; 
narrative by Yukio Ozaki; narrative by Ki Inukai; the first 
session of the Imperial Diet ; the second session and the dissolution 
of the House of Representatives; the government's interference 
in the election; impeachment of the government by the House 
of Representatives and mediating measure taken by the Emperor; 
press-law-revision bill; memorial impeaching the government 
on the treaty-revision problem; libel suit of the House of Repre- 
sentatives against a government-organ press; impeachment of 
Hoshi, the Speaker of the House, and Goto, the Minister of 
Agriculture and Commerce, and the expulsion of Hoshi from the 
House; bill to impeach the government concerning treaty revision; 
the " Chishima-Go " affair; dissolution of the House in the fourth 
session; government censured by the House of Peers; another 
impeachment of the government and dissolution of the House in 
the fifth session; dissolution of the political organizations; growth 
of constitutionalism and nationalism. 



The worship-the-west mania; awakening of the nation from 
its blunder; imperial rescript for education; conflict between 
the native religions and Christianity; continued attacks on the 
government by the House and newspapers regarding the weak 
diplomacy; the Japan-China War; treaty revision partially success- 
ful; the Three States' Intervention; political agitations against the 
government; conflict of Japanese and Russian interests in Korea. 




Growth of commerce and industry; development of advertise- 
ments and their effect upon newspapers; Fukuzawa's independent 
Jiji; Murayama, the pioneer of the commercial press; the 
development of journalistic style; Yano's innovation on the 
Hochi; introduction of sensationalism; fiction and personal- 
advice sections; introduction of the rotary press; increase in 
national population; war stimulated newspaper circulation; 
total circulation of newspapers; circulation of the leading news- 
papers; publishing expenses of newspapers; special methods of 
increasing circulation; fluctuation in circulation; financial 
difficulties of newspapers; advertisements; advertising agencies; 
news-gathering agencies; newspaper-distributing agencies; the 
clipping-supply business; evening newspapers; provincial news- 
papers; foreign-language newspapers; make-up of Japanese 
newspapers; social position of journalists; censorship of the 
press; decline of editorials and the growth of news. 


The party-organ press not an efficient molder of public 
opinion; gradual growth of the size of the public; increase of 
circulation of the independent press and growth of the power of 
public opinion; suppression of freedom of discussion; press-law 
revision; Okuma's resignation; the journalists' association 
attack on the government, dissolution of the House and the 
resignation of the Ministry; invasion of China by the Western 
powers; attacks on the government by political parties and 
newspapers; conflict between Yamagata and Ito, and an unprece- 
dented method of change in cabinet; organization of the first 
party government and its failure; establishment of the Seiyukai 
party by Ito; HoshFs introduction of "Tammany Hall" methods; 
newspaper attacks on corrupt practices and the assassination of 
Hoshi; gradual growth of public opinion clamoring for war 
against Russia; impeachment of the government; unprecedented 
ceremonial address by Speaker Kono and the dissolution of the 
House; the irresistible force of public opinion and change in the 



government's attitude; Russo-Japanese War and harmony among 
political factions; the Russian-spy case; France's violation of 
neutrality; the peace treaty and political agitations; conflicts 
between the police and the crowds; martial law and the suppres- 
sion of freedom of discussion; troubles caused by the university 
professors; fall of the Katsura Cabinet; extension of the sphere 
of public opinion and the growth of imperialism, 

Extension of newspaper circulation to the lower classes and 
the political awakening of the masses; anti-tax agitation by the 
chambers of commerce; entente between the Second Katsura 
Cabinet and the Seiyukai party; the taxation problem and the 
fall of the Second Saionji Cabinet; unpopularity of the Third 
Katsura Cabinet; anti-government agitations by political 
parties and newspapers; political riots; establishment of the 
Doshikai party by Katsura; rdle of the newspaper; naval- 
scandal case under the Yamamoto Cabinet; political agitations; 
political riots; newspaper attacks upon Minister of the Interior 
Hara; petition to the Emperor by the journalists' associations; 
suppression of the freedom of the press; impeachment bill in the 
House of Representatives; opposition by the House of Peers and 
the fall of the Yamamoto Cabinet; the unsuccessful attempt to 
organize the Kiyoura Ministry; opposition by newspapers; 
decline of the power of the elder statesmen; the Second Okuma 
Cabinet; dissolution of the House by Okuma and the news- 
papers' support of Okuma in the general election; causes of 
victory of government par ties; fall of the Okuma Cabinet; reaction- 
ary Terauchi Ministry and newspapers; administrative policy 
criticized by the journalists; different attitudes of bureaucrats 
and party politicians toward journalism; newspaper and mob 
psychology; "rice riots*' and newspaper censorship; the Hara 
Cabinet organized upon a purely party basis; political progress; 
labor problems; radical changes in political ideas. 


INDEX 179 



The organization of the community at any given moment represents 
an established equilibrium and modus mvendi between opposing forces 
and contending interests and aims. The form which this equilibrium 
takes Is determined, other things being equal, by the means of communi- 
cation, transportation, and the character of the social contacts. Under 
communication are included (1)' geographical and natural means of com- 
munication and transportation, i.e. lakes, rivers, mountain passes, the 
ocean; (2) roads, railways, both steam and electrical, and automobiles; 
(3) the post-office, the telegraph, and the telephone; (4) printing and 
the newspapers. Communication by mail and telegraph and through 
the press depends upon the existence of a common speech, a common 
literature, and general education. The existence of a newspaper depends 
upon all these things, and, therefore, its study must be made in con- 
nection with the development of all the conditions which contribute to 
its successful existence and growth. 

Newspapers guide and mold opinion through editorials. Through 
news they inform it. News is not, however, less important in creating 
public opinion than editorials. The press in directing the attention of 
the public selects the materials from which ideas are formed. It may 
be said to create views and opinions, as well as communicate them. As 
a means of communication the modern newspapers may be compared to 
the telegraph, telephone, railroad, steamship, and flying machine. It is 
a sort of common carrier; 

It is important to distinguish between communications: those made 
through the mails, by telegraph, and by telephone; and communications 
through the medium of the newspapers. While all other means of com^ 
munication treat each person separately, newspapers offer not only a 
medium for individual expression as in the case of the advertisement and 
the personal columns, where homes are united, members of a family 


are put in touch with one another, or rendezvous are arranged, but also 
a medium for the exchange of the news and opinions of the general 
public. For that reason the newspaper becomes primarily the organ of 
expression of the group, as well as a means of communication between 
individuals and groups of individuals. It becomes, therefore, the natural 
organ for the formation and expression of public opinion, and is the 
medium par excellence of political life. Because of this function, it 
becomes of prime importance in countries in which we have a popular 
form of government, i.e. government by public opinion. In England, 
where parliamentary government has been most thoroughly developed, 
the growth of a political democracy has gone on side by side with the 
development of newspapers. In fact, the history of the transition from 
personal and'feudal to the popular government is largely the history for 
the freedom of public opinion and of the press. It was in England where 
that took place first and most completely. As the free government in 
the period of predominant provincial life and provincial economy was 
carried on in the town meeting, so, with the development of national life 
and national economy, it is the press through which distance is reduced, 
which plays the r6le of the town meeting. Through the newspaper 
people are promptly informed of current events and are enabled to ex- 
change views and express opinions regarding them. Such universal dis- 
cussion creates public opinion, which controls public affairs and makes 
democracy possible. 1 Therefore in a modern state the newspaper is one 
of the social institutions which are indispensable to self-government. 

During the last fifty years there have been going on constant conflicts 
and adjustment in vivid forms in the political experience of the Japanese, 
and in these struggles the part played by communication is worthy of 
special attention. The present work was intended to indicate the process 
through which a state, where only half a century ago no public opinion 
was considered in political affairs, has made remarkable progress mainly 
through the development of the system of communication, as a result of 
the modern printing press. In Old Japan, i.e. before the Restoration 
of 1868, we may say that public opinion played almost no part in the 
political life of the people at large, due to the fact that communication 
1 Robert E. Park, Lecture. 


and general education were greatly hampered, and that freedom of 
discussion was narrowly limited by a complicated system of feudal- 
ism. Subsequent to the Restoration, however, these restrictions were 
modified, and the printing press rapidly made its appearance. From 
that time on we can clearly trace how each stage of the political 
development in Japan made its progress right along with the growth 
of the press. 

In Old Japan only a fraction of the one million upper-class popula- 
tion court nobles, lords, and samurai participated in politics; but the 
great masses had no part in it chiefly because adequate communication, 
which is essential to the psychological organization of an intelligent 
public, was impossible at that time. Japanese newspapers may be 
divided into ten-year periods, beginning with the Restoration of 1868. 
This classification is more or less arbitrary, but each one of these periods 
corresponds with a particular stage in the trend of Japan's political 

1. The first decade (1868-78) might be called "the period of amateur 
journalism." The circulation of the newspapers was then insignificant, 
but it already exerted considerable influence upon state affairs by 
attracting the attention of the authorities and the people. In ( this period, 
because of the lack of communication and of a proper means for dis- 
cussion, serious misunderstandings arose among different elements of the 
population, and bitter animosities were stirred up. The result was fre- 
quent insurrections and assassinations. This was a national unification 

2. During the second period (1878-90) political journals developed 
rapidly. The size of the public which gave expression to political affairs 
was therefore enlarged, although it was still limited to the upper classes. 
Now the public became more enlightened, and instead of resorting to 
force and violence they began to use their new weapon of publicity. 
Various political agitations for the establishment of a more liberal govern- 
ment took place in different parts of the country, and an earlier promul- 
gation of the Imperial Constitution and the establishment of the National 
Assembly were promoted. This was a transitional period from autocracy 
to constitutionalism. 


3. In the period (1890-97) following the opening of the National 
Assembly, the newspapers of Japan became party organs, serving the 
political parties as their strongest weapons against each other #,nd against 
the government. Bitter conflicts took place between the House of Repre- 
sentatives and newspapers on the one side and the government on the 
other, chiefly on account of disputes on matters of foreign relations. 
Treaty-revision problems and several other international difficulties 
created among the people a stronger national self -consciousness and gave 
birth to a reactionary nationalism which culminated in a war with China. 
This was a period of the growth of constitutionalism and nationalism, 
both of which were greatly fostered by the press. 

4. In the fourth period (1897-1906), i.e. after the Japan-China 
War, industry developed rapidly, newspaper advertising increased, 
and journalism in Japan became a commercial and independent enter- 
prise. Means of communication, general education, the method of 
printing and editing, and an unusual stimulus given by the war news 
increased the newspaper circulation by five times in one decade. This 
meant at once a similar increase in the power of the public in politics. 
The organized public now began to include the middle-class population, 
and constitutionalism made further progress. As a result of the Japan- 
China War, nationalism took a more active turn and became imperial- 
istic. The result was the Russo-Japanese War. This war was, however, 
not due so much to the minority opinion of the dominating militaristic 
classes as it w$s to a strong public opinion which was created chiefly 
through the press. 

5. During the fifth period (1906-20), i.e. from the Russo-Japanese 
War to the present day, most newspapers in Japan became independent 
and greatly increased their circulation. Public opinion had heretofore 
been limited to the upper and middle classes. Now, however, due to 
the diffusion of general education! the increase of wealth, and the stimulus 
given by the war news, the lower classes began to read the papers. A 
political awakening of the masses resulted. They entered the field of 
public opinion and brought about a remarkable transformation in the 
social, political, and industrial life of the nation. To the already growing 
idea of democracy the recent Great War gave a strong incentive. The 


fall of German militarism and the victory of the cause of democracy gave 
the people a vivid impression of what liberty and equality meant both in 
national and international politics. In view of such an extraordinary 
change-in the attitude, ideas, and ideals of the people at large the bureau- 
crats and conservatives became alarmed about the future of the Eastern 

This was the situation. An increasing number of the national popu- 
lation had begun to participate in the common life of the state. Nation- 
alism had been greatly enlightened. A healthy democracy had finally 
found a strong foothold in Japan. What took England hundreds of 
years to accomplish has been done in half a century in Japan. The 
unique history of the political development has, of course, a multitude 
of different forces back of it. In this volume we are concerned with the 
study of one of those forces, i.e. the modern printing press. The events 
and processes heretofore briefly mentioned are more clearly expressed in 
the following chapters. 



Essential to the development of the newspaper itself are all other 
means of communication. Let us, therefore, study them first. 

Being a narrowly ranged volcanic archipelago, originally consisting of 
four main islands and several hundred small islands, Japan has always 
enjoyed the benefit of maritime communication. And, since all the 
islands are about two-thirds mountain region, and by ravines and rivers 
blocked out into hundreds of small, isolated geographical areas, land 
communication did not develop until late in the national history. There- 
fore in the earlier period the population settled first along the seacoast. 

In 81 B.C. Emperor Sujin issued a decree to the coast provinces 
ordering the people to increase the number of ships in order to develop 
maritime transportation. In 88 B.C. he dispatched four governors- 
general to the four districts of the country with orders to improve the 
highways. Succeeding emperors encouraged the development of com- 
munication and transportation. About 563 A.D. lighthouses were built 
along the coast, and in 860 A.D., in the reign of Emperor Seiwa, beacons 
were erected at several channels in order to guide the vessels. By the 
time of the Taikwa Reformation in 645 A.D. a definite post system for 
the transmission of official mails was established. The courier was called 
Hay a Uma (fast horse), for he rode on horseback. In the same Refor- 
mation, relay stables were established in every village along the main 
national highways for urgent transmission. Besides the Haya Uma 
there were couriers on foot called Hikyaku (fleet-legs), who also carried 
mails by the relay system. At that time in traveling any considerable 
distance people were required to carry passports with them. This mail 
system has been maintained ever since, with one exception in the period 
of civil strife (Gun-yu Kakkyo Period), which lasted from 1573 to 1603. 
The system was further developed under the Tokugawa regime. 



In 1601 lyeyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun, provided thirty-six 
relay stations, with thirty-six horses in each, on the Tokaido highway* 
He gave 1,440 tsubo of land (a tsubo is 7 feet 5$4 inches square) to each 
relay station for its maintenance. Licenses were issued only to the 
official couriers. Other highways such as Nakasendo, Oshu-dochu, 
Nikko-dochu, Kishu-dochu, etc., had similar systems, and all the routes 
centered in Yedo (now Tokyo). There were two kinds of mails, the 
ordinary and the special, the latter being carried by certain swift couriers. 
The local and minor highways also had couriers under the control of 
local lords. 

This system provided for official mail only. The carrying of private 
mail and the payment of taxes to the central government, which were 
generally paid in products, were difficult matters, for there was no prac- 
tical means of communication until 1663 A.D. Traveling priests, pil- 
grims, and peddlers frequently served as messengers Under the feudal 
regime the country was divided into hundreds of small dominions, and 
national communication was hindered by the neglect of local lords: 
difficulty in crossing streams due to the lack of bridges and boats espe- 
cially under flood conditions, and the guard-stations built at all the 
strategic points on the main national highways where travelers were 
required to show their passports and suspicious-looking persons were 
detained or imprisoned. 

In the Tokugawa regime (1602-1867) the Shogun placed the daimyo, 
or the lords, in such positions that they restrained one another, and thus 
made their united action against him impossible. Each lord built his 
castle on a natural stronghold, and set up strong defenses against inva- 
sion. No attempt was made to facilitate the traffic between different 
sections of the country. In 1663 A.D. the first public mail service in 
Japan was established under the direct protection of the government. 
This was two hundred and fifty-seven years ago. In July, 1664, a 
regular mail system called Sando-Bikyaku (Three-time Courier) was 
established and the public mails were dispatched three times regularly- 
every month, at Osaka every second, twelfth, and twenty-second day. 
When these mails arrived at the destination post-offices, which were 
generally hotels called Hikyaku-yado (Couriers' Hotel), they were 


emptied on mats in front of the offices and were exhibited on the streets. 
Addressees found their own mail. In the same year there were four such 
private post-offices in Osaka, three in Kyoto, and six in Yedo. Eighty- 
eight years after this, in 1751, the number was increased to twelve in 
Osaka, sixteen in Kyoto, and nine in Yedo. By 1806 the mails were 
dispatched more than eighteen times a month. Besides these land 
couriers there were swift mail boats which handled both letters and 
parcels, and in 1744 the money-order system and the insurance of mails 
were introduced. As these private couriers improved, many official 
mails were also intrusted to them. Postal fees were relatively high, on 
account of the great difficulties met with in the transmission of the mails, 
and the rate was frequently changed by the agreement of the Couriers' 

Under the Tokugawa regime the building of seaworthy vessels was 
prohibited, so that no one was able to cross the sea to maintain inter- 
course with any other countries. Only the small coasting, river, and 
lake boats were allowed to be built. These vessels were too dangerous 
for traveling purposes, and were primarily used for the transportation 
of cargoes. 


The next problem to be studied is that of general education. When 
the masses are illiterate, there is no hope for the development of the 
newspapers nor for a general participation in political affairs. Communi- 
cation and general education lead to a unified national language and the 
development of a common literature, and thus a way is opened for 
common discussion by speech and publicity. 

In Old Japan before the Tokugawa regime education was limited to 
the upper classes, and the majority of the people were kept ignorant. 
Originally there was no writing in Japan, but in 284 A.D. Chinese letters 
were introduced by a Korean scholar named Wani, and subsequently 
written language came into existence. By the Code of the Taiho Era, 
a university was established in the capital in 701 A.D., but no one except 
the children of nobles was admitted to it. This date precedes that of 
the establishment of any university in Europe by more than a century. 


All the students were given government scholarships, and the cur- 
riculum consisted of Chinese classic, philosophy, history, literature and 
composition, law, music, calligraphy, and mathematics. Besides the 
university there were colleges of medicine, of music, and of divination, 
all of which were maintained by the central government. Provincial 
colleges with similar courses of lower grades were also established and 
were controlled by the local governors. There were also many private 
colleges and schools maintained by clans, families, and groups of wealthy 
people to educate their own children. In the seventh, the eighth, and 
the ninth centuries, many scholars and Buddhist priests were sent by the 
government to China, and they brought back the Chinese and Indian 

Although the Japanese now had the Chinese letters, they met with 
extraordinary difficulties in adapting them for the entirely different 
language; the Chinese ideographs cannot be adapted to the Japanese 
language, which has an entirely different origin and therefore different 
sounds. About the ninth century, kana, or Japanese syllabaries, were 
invented by the native scholars, and then it became possible to spell the 
vernacular by its sounds. Subsequently, the native literature was 
written in a peculiarly mixed form of both Chinese ideographs and kana, 
and rapidly attained a degree of excellence that has not been equaled 
since. The literatures of the eleventh and the twelfth centuries are 
much admired today. The works of such brilliant court ladies as 
Murasaki-shikibu, Izumi-shikibu, and Sei-shonagon are the flowers of 
Japanese literature. 

Literary works gradually accumulated. About 1270 the Kanazawa 
Library was established, where nearly all the Japanese and Chinese 
books which existed in those days were kept for the general public. 
Education was gradually developing throughout the country, although 
until the beginning of the Tokugawa r6gime (1602 A.D.) the masses were 
able to receive elementary instruction only at the Buddhist temples. 

The Tokugawa Shogunate encouraged education, and a large number of 
schools were established under the direction of the central government, 
of the local lords, and of private scholars. The highest government 
school for training officials was the Shohei-ko, which was established 


in 1630 for teaching Chinese classics, history, reading, literature, and 
Japanese learning. Other provincial schools followed the "system of the 
Shohei-ko and gave similar curricula. The education of the common 
people was in the hands of the priests at first, but later lay scholars 
opened private schools and taught there elementary reading, letter- 
writing, arithmetic, etiquette, and calligraphy. The eighth Shogun, 
Yoshimune (1713-44), encouraged popular education, and from then on 
it became widely diffused. About this time several such prominent 
scholars as Yekken Kaibara and Tekisai Nakamura wrote a number of 
books which appealed to the less-educated masses, and which therefore 
accelerated the diffusion of culture among the common people. A con- 
siderable proportion of the male population could now read and write 
sufficiently to meet their daily necessities. The majority of the female 
population remained illiterate. 

Besides the schools, pilgrimages which were in vogue in Old Japan, 
popular dramas, and story-telling contributed to some extent to the 
education of the common people. 


Education in Japan, 1915, Department of Education of Japan. 

Graphic Illustrations of Communication in Japan, 1915, Japan Department 
of Communication, 

History of Education in Japan, 1910, Department of Education of Japan. 

History of Telegraphs in Japan, 1892, Japan Department of Communication. 

Imperial Government Railways, 1915, Japan Department of Communi- 

Japan Year Book, 1905-17. 

Japan Year Book, 1915-17. 

Kikuchi, Dairoku, Japanese Education. 

Kokumin, The, Kokumin Nenkan, 1916-18. 

Mercantile Marine, 1892, Japan Department of Communication. 

Nippon Kotsu Shi-ron, Japan Historical and Geographical Association. 

Okuma, Shigenobu, Fifty Years of New Japan, Vols. I and II. 
, Postal Service in Japan, 1892, Japan Department of Communication. 

Takegoshi, Yosaburo, Nisen-gohyakunen Shi, 



Illiteracy and segregation of the masses and the policy of repression 
held by the government stunted the development of the newspaper. 
But a common culture was being slowly diffused throughout the country 
by the new written language. In Old Japan, previous to the intro- 
duction of modern journalism in 1868, news and opinions were con- 
veyed in various ways, imperfect though they were. These methods 
may be considered as the forerunners of newspapers in Japan, and can 
b^ classified into five groups the song period, the scribbling period, 
pictorial and ballad period, the joke-book and yellow-cover period, and 
the lampoon period. 

Before writing was introduced from China in 284 A.D., news and 
ideas were conveyed mainly by songs. The Japanese were a poetic 
people from the earliest period of national history, and poetry had devel- 
oped before written language came into use. Songs of the mythological 
period are the prototype of later poems. The first legendary song 
recorded in the history of Japan is probably the stanza which the goddess 
Uzume sang while she danced before the heavenly cave. The story 
runs as follows: 

When Susanowo, the mischievous moon-god, teased his beautiful sister 
Ainaterasu, the sun-goddess, who is said to be the maternal ancestor of the 
Japanese imperial family of five generations previous to the first Emperor 
Jimmu, she hid herself in a heavenly cave and shut the rocky door so tightly 
that the whole universe suddenly turned pitch-dark. Then eight milliard 
deities assembled, consulted together, and formed a plan to lure Amaterasu 
out of the cave. A great musical feast was begun in front of the cave door, 
and Uzume, the laughing goddess, danced and sang wonderfully. The cele- 
bration, was so great that the sun-goddess could not resist the temptation and 
at last opened the rocky door slightly and peeped out. Tachikarawo, or the 
heavenly-hand-strength-male-god, suddenly took hold of her hand and pulled 


her out of the cave, and again the heaven and earth brightened and there was 
light. The stanza which Uzume sang on that occasion was: 

Gods behold the cavern door, 
Majesty appears hurrah! 
Our hearts are quite satisfied, 
Behold my charms! 1 

When Susanowo, the moon-god, descended from heaven and married an 
earthly goddess, Kushi-Inada-Hime, and built his august palace in the Province 
of Izumo (Northern Japan), clouds of eight beautiful colors suddenly arose 
there. Then Susanowo made a song: 

Ya-kumo tatsu: 

Idzumo ya-he-gaki; 

Ya-he-gaki tsukuru: 
Sono ya-he-gakiwo. 

This was translated by Chamberlain as follows: 

Eight clouds arise. The eightfold (or manifold) 
fence of Idzumo makes an eightfold (or manifold) fence 
for the spouses to retire within. 
Oh! that eightfold fence! " 

The old Japanese songs mostly consist of seven and five syllables alter- 
nating in each line, and the method of expressing the ideas and feelings is 
extremely simple. By a peculiar method of reiteration and pause these primi- 
tive poems are capable of giving vivid impressions. I will show a few more 
examples of old songs, translated by Lafcadio Hearn. 

This song from the Gempei Seisuiki (Account of the Prosperity and 
Decline of the Two Great Clans Gen and Hei) was composed in the twelfth 

Both form and mind 

Lo! how these change! 

The falling of tears 

Is like the water of a cataract. 

Let them become the Pool 
Of the Lotos of the Good Law! 
Poling thereupon 
The Boat of Salvation, 
Vouchsafe that my sinking 
Body may ridel 

1 Translation by W. G. Grif&s, Japan in History, Folk Lore, and Art, pp. 37-38. 


Who twice shall live his youth? 

What flower faded blooms again? 
JS Fugitive as dew 

& t? Is the form regretted, 

** Seen only 

In a moment of dream. 1 

It is customary in Japan when young people marry for the woman to 
enter the man's house. There the mother-in-law and the sisters of the husband 
are the greatest terrors of the timid bride. 


In the shadow of the mountain 

What is it that shines so> 

Moon is it, nor star? or is it the fire-fly insect? 

Neither is it moon, 

Nor yet star; 

It is the old woman's eye; it is the eye of my mother- 
in-law that shines. 
(Chorus) It is her Eye that shines! 2 


Oh! the cruelty, the cruelty of my mother-in-law! 

(Chorus) Oh! the cruelty! 

Even tells me to paint a picture on running water! 
If ever I paint a picture on running water, 
You will count the stars in the night-sky! 

Count the stars in the night-sky! 

Come! Let us dance the Dance of the Honorable Garden I 
Who cuts bamboo at the back of the house? 

(Chorus) Who cuts the bamboo? 

My sweet lord's [husband's] own bamboo, the first he planted, 
The first he planted? 

1 Translation by Lafcadio Hearn in Shadowings, p. 192. 

2 An old folk-song sung in the province of Shinano. Translation by Lafcadio 
Hearn in Shadowings } p. 171, 


Come! Let us dance the Dance of the Honorable Garden! 
Oh! the cruelty, the cruelty of my inother-in-law ' 

Oh! the cruelty! 

Tells me to cut and make a hakama [skirt] out of rock! 
If ever I cut and saw a hakama out of rock. 
Then you will learn to twist the fine sand into thread, 

Twist into thread. 

Come! Let us dance the Dance of the Honorable Garden! 
Yoitomose, Yoitom ose ! Chan-ch&n-chan ! l 

After the introduction of Chinese ideographs, scribblings on walls of 
houses and posts became a means of communication. They were mostly 
satirical matters, such as criticisms of authorities and other dignitaries, 
and miscellanies. Travelers frequently left messages on the walls of 
hotels and inns. 

In 1045 Takakuni Minamoto, a nobleman, built a villa at Uji to 
provide a free resting-place for travelers. From the various reports of 
his guests from different parts of the country he composed interesting 
articles and published two books, Konjaku-Monogatari and Uji-I$hu 

About 1600 A.D. lithographing was invented, and subsequently news 
was printed for the first time on one- or two-page papers, generally with 
some illustrations. These news sheets were read aloud by hawkers on 
the streets and in other public places, and therefore they obtained the 
name yomiuri, or "hawked about." This lithographing was called 
kawara-ban (tile-block print) because it was engraved on clay to make 
the tile block. Later wood-block engraving on cherry wood was 
introduced, but it still retained the name of kawara-ban. * 

The earliest tile-block print known today was made in 1615 with 
an illustrated description of the battle of Abe, which took place between 
Hideyori and lyeyasu on May 7 of that year, and in which lyeyasu was 

1 Translation by Lafcadio Hearn in Shado-wings, pp. 171-72. 


victorious in vanquishing the Toyotomi Clan. The author is supposed 
to have been no less than lyeyasu himself, He distributed the news of 
his victory throughout the country to influence the feudal lords to aid 
him. At that time there were already movable types made of wood, 
and several books were printed from these. It is said that lyeyasu, in 
the beginning of the seventeenth century, gave 300,000 wood types to 
the Ashikaga school with orders to publish in print many old manu- 
scripts. It is also reported that, in 1614, 200,000 copper types were 
cast by the Tokugawa government in order to print the Buddhist 
scriptures and works of classical literatures. But the illustrated print 
was still very rare, and for more than sixty years after that time there 
was no other illustrated newspaper known to have been in existence. 

In the Genroku Era (1688-1703) love ballads became popular, and 
every sensational incident in love affairs was hawked by the ballad 
singers on the streets. This era was one of the most extravagant 
periods in Japanese history. All the country enjoyed peace and pros- 
perity; and the luxurious life and general moral laxity supplied endless 
resources for the popular ballad, which was enthusiastically welcomed 
by the public. The hawkers of these ballads were called tswebwki 
(singers-in-pair) > for they went around by pairs singing. The majority 
of these hawkers were people who through misfortune and dissipation 
were unable any longer to do hard work. However, the literary skill 
and musical accomplishment acquired in prosperous days enabled therri 
to compose ballads of popular interest and to sing them on the streets. 
It was a custom of these ballad singers to cover their heads with hats 
woven of reeds in order to conceal their identity. 1 In 1688, when the 
famous forty-seven ronin (masterless samurai) of Ako had taken up the 
feud of their former lord, a detailed account of the incident was at once 
written as a ballad and sold by singers on the streets of Yedo and other 
large cities. 

1 In the chapter called "Fallen Rich Man," of a book entitled The Second Gen- 
eration of Sensual Man, published in 1684, the following passage is found: "Messrs. 
Shichi and Hachi, brothers of Kaneya Company, their mortgaged estate having been 
forfeited, moved to Matsuyacho, and even very late at night were unmistakably seen 
going around the streets singing tsure-bushi with hoarse voices," etc. (Kamezo 
Asakura, Eoncho Shiiribun-sJn, p. 4.) 


It is said that the street ballad was sometimes a means of blackmail. 
In order to check these scandals and the demoralizing effect of sensual 
literature, public notices were published by the Shogunate in November, 
1684, and again on February 21, 1698, which read as follows: 

Recently there have been people who are printing current gossip in the 
form of popular ballads and selling them in the cities. House owners are 
ordered to scrutinize their tenants and roomers and to prohibit any persons 
from printing such ballads on their premises. If the city or village officials 
find the peddlers of such ballads, they must arrest and deliver them to the 
guardhouses. Upon conviction, both the writers of the ballads and the 
peddlers shall be punished accordingly. Inspectors will soon be dispatched 
from the central government to investigate local conditions, and the local 
authorities are expected to have carried out this order effectively before that 

This checked the writing of ballads until about 1704. At this time the 
ballad adopted the literary and musical form of the saimon. The salmon 
were chants composed by Shinto priests for funerals and memorial 
services. As this saimon-ch&nting had an attractive form and senti- 
mental appeal, it was used as a cloak for the forbidden ballad and 
gradually brought about a revival of the street singing. Later a 
banjo player was added to the two ballad singers, and the song attracted 
more attention than before. 

The following is a translation by Laf cadio Hearn of one of the popular 
street ballads of those days sung by the wandering banjo players: 


(O-Kichi-Seiza Kudoki) 

Now hear the pitiful story of two that died for love: In Kyoto was the 
thread shop of Yoemon, a merchant known far and near, a man of much 
wealth. His business prospered; his life was fortunate. One daughter he 
had, an only child, by name O-Kichi : at sixteen years she was lovely as a 
flower. Also he had a clerk in Ms house, by name Seiza, just in the prime of 
youth, aged twenty-and-two. 

Yanrei! (refrain for pause) 

Now the young man Seiza was handsome; and O-Kichi fell in love with 
him at sight. And the two were so often together that their secret affection 


became known; and the matter came to the ears of the parents of O KicM; 
and they, hearing of it, felt that such a thing could not be suffered to continue. 


So, at last, the mother, having called O-Kichi into a private room, thus 
spoke to her; "O my daughter, I hear that you have formed a secret relation 
with the young man Seiza, of our shop. Are you willing to end that relation 
at once, and not to think any more about that man, O-Kichi? Answer me, 
O my daughter." 


"0 my dear mother," answered O-Kichi, "what is this that you ask me to 
do? The closeness of the relation between Seiza and me is the closeness of the 
relation of the imV to the paper that it penetrates. Therefore, whatever may 
happen, mother of mine, to separate from Seiza is more than I can bear." 


Then the father, having called Seiza to the innermost private room, thus 
spoke to him: "I have called you here only to tell you this: You have turned 
the mind of our daughter away from what is right; and even to hear of such 
a matter is not to be borne. Pack up your things at once, and go I Today 
is the utmost limit of the time that you remain in this house." 


Now Seiza was a native of Osaka. Without saying more than " Yes, yes," 
he obeyed and went away, returning to his home. There he remained four or 
five days, thinking only of O-Kichi. And because of his longing for her, he 
fell sick; and as there was no cure and no hope for him, he died. 


Then one night O-Kichi, in a moment of sleep, saw the face of Seiza close 
to her pillow, so plainly that she could not tell whether it was real, or only a 
dream. And rising up, she looked about; but the form of Seiza had vanished. 


Because of this she made up her mind to go at once to the house of Seiza. 
And, without being seen by anyone, she fled from the home of her parents. 



When she came to the ferry at the next village, she did not take the boat, 
but went round by another road; and making all baste she found her way to the 
city of Osaka. There she asked for the house of Seiza, and learned that it was 
in a certain street, the third house from a certain bridge. 


Arriving at last before the house of Seiza, she took off her traveling hat 
of straw; and seating herself on the threshold of the entrance, she cried out: 
"Pardon me kindly I Is not this the house of Master Seiza?" 

Yanrei ! 

Then the pity of it! She saw the mother of Seiza, weeping bitterly > 
and holding in her hand a Buddhist rosary. "0 my good young lady," the 
mother of Seiza asked, "whence have you come, and whom do you want- 

to see?" 


And OKichi said: "I am the daughter of the thread-merchant of Kyoto, 
And I have come all the way here only because of the love that has long existed 
between Master Seiza and myself, Therefore, I pray you, kindly permit me 
to see him." 


"Alas!" made answer the weeping mother, "Seiza, whom you have come 
so far to see, is dead. Today is the seventh day from the day on which he 
died." .... Hearing these words O-Kichi herself could only shed tears. 


But after a little while she took her way to the cemetery. And there she 
found the sotoba (a wooden lath, bearing a Buddhist text, planted above the 
grave) erected above the grave of Seiza; and leaning upon it, she wept aloud. 


Then how fearful a thing is the longing of a person the grave of Seiza 
split asunder; and the form of Seiza rose up therefrom and spoke. 


"Ah! is not this O-Kichi that has come? Kind indeed it was to have 
come to me from so far away I My O-Kichi, do not weep thus. Never again, 
even though you weep, can we be united in this world. But as you love me 


truly, I pray you to set some fragrant flowers before my tomb, and to have a 
Buddhist service said for me upon the anniversary of my death." 


And with these words the form of Seiza vanished. "O wait, wait for me! " 
cried 0-Kichi, "wait one little moment! I cannot let you return alone! I 
shall go with you in a little time! " 


Then quickly she went beyond the temple-gate to a moat some four or five 
cho (cho is about one-fifteenth of a mile) distant; and having filled her sleeves 
with small stones, into the deep water she cast her forlorn body, 


In 1718 the peddling of ballads was again prohibited, and in Decem- 
ber, 1722, the following decree was issued: 

Printing and sale of any unfounded gossip and the news of double suicide 
of lovers have been heretofore prohibited, but we are informed that there are 
still many violations of this law. Hereafter officers will be dispatched to 
arrest all such lawbreakers. Whenever persons violating this decree are found, 
the local authorities are requested to make arrest and deliver them to the 
nearest guardhouses. Local authorities who intentionally neglect this duty 
shall also be punished. 

This law put an end to the making of street ballads in Japan. 1 
The broadsides published thereafter contained mainly articles on 
blood-feuds, articles on filial piety, news of great fires, earthquakes, 
floods, upon the birth of triplets, the visits of distinguished foreigners, 
festivals, dramas, etc. These sheets lacked the sensational element con- 
tained in the old love ballads. Furthermore, the peddlers were not 
allowed to sing or read on the streets, and could merely shout the head- 
lines. The majority of the common people could not read the sheets, 
and paid no attention to them. Something else had to take their 

1 It is said that the ballads of the sensational stories of double suicide committed 
by unfortunate young lovers instigated more such acts, so that the government was 
forced to put a ban on such ballads. 


After the Restoration of 1868 the ballad again made its appearance. 
As late as a decade ago the singers of ballads were seen in temple yards, 
in parks, and on streets, on fte days, drawing large crowds of people. 

However, the street ballad was entirely stopped by the government 
order of 1722, and in its place small-sized pamphlets called "joke books" 
(skare-bori) and "yellow covers" (kibyoshf) made their appearance in the 
An-ei Era (1722-80). They were stories, sometimes in verse, frequently 
illustrated, the matter of which was apparently innocent, but often only 
a disguise for the secrets of the Shogunate court or of the local lords. 
There were, for instance, stories in which the characters were historical 
personages who were easily recognized as officials of the contemporary 
government. These disguises were easily penetrated by the readers, 
and the books became very popular. Before long, however, a strict law 
was again introduced against them, and severe punishments were inflicted 
on the composers and illustrators. Romances based on facts of gossip 
did not appear again until the beginning of the modern era. Whatever 
has been said thus far has reference to all publications not directly con- 
cerned with political matters. As to political topics the restrictions were 
always severe and writers were summarily punished, often indeed exe- 
cuted. This was true whether the censored matter was printed or hand- 
copied, published in the form of news or in the form of fiction. The 
grievances of the people could not be entirely suppressed, but their ex- 
pression took a peculiar form. This expression took the form of lam- 
poons, the natural product of this arbitrary suppression. They were 
generally comic verses or stories of a satirical nature, aiming at criticism 
of the government and its authorities, and posted in conspicuous places. 
The lampoon as a form of political expression had existed from the earliest 
period of national history, but this form of satire was neither popular 
nor effective in those days because of the limited literacy. Under the 
regime of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868), however, general edu- 
cation had been encouraged, and the progess of the art of printing had 
facilitated the distribution of literature. It was a paradox of the Toku- 
gawa regime that it promoted literacy on the one hand and suppressed the 
freedom of discussion on the other. That government did not legislate 
against the political lampoon, although extremely severe regulations were 


put against all other news-conveying devices. This was perhaps because 
any prohibition against the lampoon was by its nature futile. The result 
was that the lampoon enjoyed an unprecedented prosperity. For in- 
stance, during the Hoei Era (1704-10) lampoons criticizing the misgov- 
ernment of Senior Minister Yoshiyasu Sawayanagi, lord of Mino, were 
t so numerous that someone published a large volume entitled Hoei Lam- 
poon composed of those collections. In those days the Senior Minister's 
power was absolute, and the slightest sign of irreverence toward him 
would have cost the guilty person his head. By means of the lampoon, 
however, people found free and bold expression for their accumulated 

Lampoons foresaw their best days in the national crisis at the end 
of the Tokugawa regime. Radicals, discontented persons, and fanatical 
patriots freely used this device as an outlet for their suppressed ideas 
and made it a medium of political discussion, With the beginning of the 
Meiji Era freedom of discussion was permitted. Consequently the lam- 
poon lost its significance and together with ballad and pictorial news its 
rdle was taken up by the modern printing press. 

There was no regular system of conveying official news under the 
Tokugawa regime. There were, however, official journals called Govern- 
ment Orders (Gosata-sho) and Official Clerks' Diary (Goyuhitsu-nikki} 
which recorded official actions, orders, notices, appointments, dismissals, 
etc., and which were sold for certain monthly fees. There was no definite 
form of stating those records, and the completeness of the duplicates 
largely depended on the amount of fees paid. There was also a co- 
operative organ called Associate Diary (Cho~ai} which the caretakers of 
the daimyo's (lords') mansions had established. This publication col- 
lected official proceedings of all daimyo together and distributed the 
copies among the members. These two sorts of journals were the pro- 
totypes of the existing official gazette. 

Among the people there also existed similar organs in narrower 
schemes. For instance, in the Koka Era (1844-^7) a man by the name 
of Yoshizo Fujiokaya, who lived in Hatago-cho, Kandaku, Yedo, cir- 
culated records of important official proceedings and current gossip in 
the city. 


All these literatures heretofore described had acted, in some way or 
other, as a means of communication. They conveyed gossip, news, 
views, and opinions in irregular forms among the people, and to a certain 
extent aided the development of a common culture in the community. 
Their role in the formation of public opinion, however, was insignificant. 
Until free communication by speech and publicity develops over a wide 
area, the participation of the masses in the common life of a large com- 
munity is impossible. 




In the strict sense of the term public opinion did not exist among the 
people of Old Japan. It was impossible to organize public opinion over 
any large area of the state. Furthermore, views and opinions of the few 
intelligent persons were suppressed as injurious to the government before 
they reached the masses. Trained to passive obedience, the common 
people resorted to their final measure of protest the riot only when too 
harshly oppressed by heavy taxes. As for political affairs in general, 
the great mass of the people simply kept aloof provided their individual 
burden remained tolerable. It was only the upper classes court nobles, 
lords, and samurai who were really interested in political matters. 
Public opinion therefore simply meant the opinion of a small part of one 
million upper-class people, who dominated the remaining thirty million. 
It was in this situation that the whole nation was at last aroused from 
its long-continued political hibernation and was brought into a more or 
less conscious state in reference to public affairs. 

The Spanish and the Portuguese missionaries of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, by their thoughtless interference in the internal politics of Japan, 
had given the Japanese rulers an unfortunate impression that all the 
foreigners had an intention of territorial aggression upon the empire. 
Therefore, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa 
Shogunate closed the country to all foreigners except the Dutch. From 
that time on Japan enjoyed a peaceful life for more than two and a half 
centuries in complete isolation from the rest of the world. But by the 
eighteenth century the Western powers began to press her with the re- 
quest to open the country for trade and intercourse with them. That 
was a shock to the long-secluded island people. Fear, excitement, con- 
flicting opinions, and violent disputes resulted at last in the decay of the 
Shogunate regime, and the way was opened for New Japan under the 
direct rule of the Emperor. 

2 3 


The earliest visitor from the Western world, with the exceptions of 
Holland, Spain, and Portugal, was Russia, whose warship came in 
October, 1793, 1 to the eastern coast of Hokkaido, asking for trade. 
When this news was spread in the country, the intelligent classes began 
to consider the problem of foreign relations seriously. Subsequently, 
more Russian warships made frequent visits to different parts of Japan, 
and pillaged the inhabitants in several places. On August IS, 1808, an 
English ship visited the harbor of Nagasaki, and in May, 1818, another 
English boat came to Uraga. In August, 1824, an English ship pillaged 
Takara-shima Island, and again in April, 1848, another English ship 
pillaged the seaport of Shimoda. All these incidents greatly excited the 
authorities, but each time they managed to conceal the facts from the 

On June 3, 1853, four American vessels with crews numbering 560 
persons, commanded by Commodore Perry, entered the port of Uraga 
and asked for trade. The surprise of both the authorities and the people 
was beyond description. This time the news in a greatly exaggerated 
form spread like wildfire all over the country, although the authorities 
tried again to keep it concealed. On June 6 the American ships pro- 
ceeded to Hommoku, which is near Yokohama, and pressed an im- 
mediate reply, There were two parties then in government, one 
advocating war and the other a peaceful settlement. After a stormy 
discussion the peace party won, and the following reply was handed 
to Perry: 

The matter which you proposed is of extremely serious nature in our state, 
and accordingly we cannot decide it immediately. Please come, therefore, 
next year to the Port of Uraga and' receive the answer. 

At this time a large number of lampoons were distributed in Yedo 
and vicinity, a few examples of which are below: 

Divine-storms belong to the realm of a long past! How ridiculous it is to 
offer such flattering prayers to Gods and Buddha in a great haste at this time! 
(Originally a verse.) 

1 All dates given for the events which happened previous to January 1, 1875, are 
by the lunar calendar. The solar calendar was adopted in Japan on January 1, 
1873, ie. December 3, 1872, by the lunar calendar. 


This lampoon ridiculed the attitude of the authorities, who had begun 
in great haste to complete the national coast defense, and at the same 
time had ordered the high priests to present prayers for peace at several 
temples. 1 

Commodore Perry agreed to wait for his answer until the next year 
and departed. The following lampoon was distributed: 


For a long time foreign vessels have been lingering in the Bay. However 
strongly the lords may defend the coast, they shall expect these vessels to come 
again in the Uraga Bay. 

Bang! Bang! Dung! Dung! 

All minds were bewildered, and the honorable Lords were excited. These 
vessels , however, seem to be preparing for their honorable return trip. But 
they will come again in the near future, and then let us enjoy more excitement I 

Ah, indeed, very precious things have arrived! 

Yours truly, 2 

In January, 1854, Perry came again with four warships and entered 
deep into the Yedo Bay, which heretofore had been strictly forbidden to 
all foreign vessels. The government protested and requested him to 
return to the port of Uraga for further negotiation. He took a firm 
stand and said, "We came from far away, and cannot endure to waste 

1 In the summer of 1363 A D., the great Tartar Chieftain Kublai-Khan, with the 
intention of conquering Japan, sent an expeditionary force of 100,000 strong, rein- 
forced by 40,000 Koreans, on 3,000 warships. Shogun Tokimune Hojo had offered 
a prayer for victory at the shrine of the sun-goddess at Ise, the traditional maternal 
imperial ancestor, and then hurried to the front and decisively defeated the invaders 
in the vicinity of Hakata of Kyushu Island. When the defeated enemy was preparing 
to depart for home, a violent storm suddenly stirred up the hitherto calm Japan Sea, 
and most of their vessels were swallowed up by the raging billows. The few ren> 
nants were immediately attacked by the Japanese ships and completely destroyed. 
This incident was called "Divine Wind" and has been transmitted in the memory of 
the nation ever since. 

Now, the lampoon ridiculed the greatly confused attitude of the Shogunate Court, 
and laughed at the miraculous "Divine Wind" idea of the authorities, which, how- 
ever, will not so conveniently occur again. 

2 Originally a verse. 


any more time. If we receive your consent to our request, we will leave 
here. Otherwise, we shall proceed to Yedo at once and decide the matter 
there, or shall remain here to see a prompt settlement." Thereupon 
several daimyo became extremely furious and asked the Shogunate Court 
to permit them to fight the Americans with their own clan forces, but 
these petitions were all rejected. On March 3, 1854, a treaty of com- 
merce consisting of twelve articles was concluded, and Japan opened for 
the first time three of her ports, Shimoda, Hakodate, and Nagasaki, to 
the foreigners. 

Again on June 13, 1858, Townsend Harris came with two American 
warships, and, being joined by a Russian warship, warned Japan that 
England and France would soon come and demand a treaty by force. 
They added that if Japan should conclude a satisfactory treaty with 
America and Russia now, they would mediate in those impending diffi- 
culties. After a long conference, the authorities decided that the world's 
situation would not permit an isolated national existence, and that sooner 
or later the country was to be opened to all foreigners. The greatest 
difficulty at that time was the conflicting opinion existing between the 
Imperial Court and the Shogunate Court. The former, still being blind 
as to the world-situation, strongly insisted on the exclusion of foreigners, 
while the latter, having been already enlightened by practical diplomacy, 
saw the necessity of opening the state. 

The Shogunate Court at last decided its foreign policy, and Senior 
Minister Naosuke li, a man of strong will, concluded the treaties without 
asking for imperial sanction. This fact made the loyalists furious, and 
gathering in Kyoto, the capital of Old Japan, they began bitterly to 
criticize the Shogunate ? s foreign policy and the arbitrariness of Minister 
li. Thereupon li started a wholesale execution of the prominent loyal- 
ists, and also punished a large number of high officials both of the 
Imperial and the Shogunate courts who had opposed his actions. He, 
of course, became an object of hatred to thousands of loyalists and foreign 
exclusionists, and on March 3, 1860, he was attacked by a band of zealots 
on his way to the Shogunate Court and was assassinated. Regardless of 
IFs death, the foreign policy of the government was not changed. On 
January 15, 1862, Masanobu Ando ? li's successor in the Semor Minister's 


office, was also attacked by assassins, but he escaped. Thus the more 
difficult the foreign relations grew, the bitterer the internal conflict 
became; and executions and assassinations were daily happenings. 

The Tokugawa Shogunate even before Commodore Perry's visit was 
destined to be overthrown in the nineteenth century. Since the latter 
part of the eighteenth century, Dutch books had become popular. The 
so-called Dutch scholars, enlightened as to the world-situation through 
these Western literatures, became the pioneer advocates of the open-door 
policy, and introduced many new ideas into Japan. Scholars of classical 
learning and of national history disclosed the original national constitu- 
tion in which the Emperor had been the supreme chief of the state, both 
de jure and de facto, and thus impressed the people with the fact that 
shoguns were merely political usurpers. Subsequently, the number of 
loyalists rapidly increased, and they boldly discussed the necessity of 
abolishing the Shogunate. There wasstill another factor which worked 
against the maintenance of the Tokugawa Shogunate, i.e. the powerful 
western daimyo. After the fall of the Toyotomi Clan, they had been 
forced to recognize the supremacy of Tokugawa, and had always been 
awaiting an opportunity to become independent again. 

At first the Shogunate persecuted the Dutch scholars and their fol- 
lowers who had advocated the open-door policy. But, when it was at 
last obliged to consent to the demands of the Western powers, the 
loyalists with their foreign-exclusion doctrine bitterly criticized the 
Shogunate Court, and then the western daimyo availed themselves of 
this rare opportunity to stand against the Tokugawa Clan. The fanatic 
loyal foreign exclusionists [and the discontented and ambitious western 
daimyo gathered in the Imperial Court of Kyoto and made strong pro- 
tests against the Shogunate in the name of the Emperor. The prestige 
and power of the Tokugawa regime were thus rapidly declining, and 
the visit of Commodore Perry was the last and greatest incentive which 
precipitated the downfall of the Shogunate. 

The diplomatic difficulties and the internal disturbances now got 
beyond the control of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The intelligent daimyo 
became convinced that the Shogunate should restore all political power 
to the Emperor, and that only under the latter's direct command could 


the nation be unified to safely meet the international difficulties. Yodo 
Yamanouchi and Shigenaga Asano first of all had advised Shogun Keiki 
to that effect. Thereupon the latter convoked a great meeting of all 
daimyo and the influential vassals at his castle in Yedo for discussion. 
He decided to restore all his political power to the Emperor, and on 
October 14, 1867, presented a petition to the Throne. It was approved 
the next day, and October 24, Keiki, the Fifteenth Tokugawa Shogun, 
resigned his grand political and military posts. Thus the Tokugawa 
Shogunate, which had been established by lyeyasu, ended after two 
hundred and fifty-six years of the most successful feudal regime ever 
witnessed in history. Since Yoritomo had first established the feudal 
system In 1185, state affairs had been kept in the Shogun's hands, 
and emperors were mere figureheads of the state for six hundred and 
eighty-two years. But now the political institution of the state again 
returned to its original form, and the Emperor became the supreme chief. 
All these great political transformations, however, had been completed 
before the masses became aware of them* The system of communication 
was so defective that the happenings in one part of the country were 
almost unknown in other distant parts, and even the upper classes had 
met with great difficulty in finding out the real situation before making 
their own decisions. Only meager information greatly mixed with scan- 
dal and exaggerated by wild rumors ran through the country, and the 
great mass of the people, who were ignorant and therefore credulous, 
remained in the dark until sometime after the new regime had been 
established. When the state of affairs was at last made clear, the people 
could scarcely believe that the Lord Shogun, of absolute power and the 
dignity of a god, could have been overthrown in such a short time. The 
western daimyo, the principal force which destroyed theTokugawa regime, 
were really the revolutionists, who stood against the long-established 
Shogunate government, the de facto sovereign of the state. But by 
guarding the Imperial Court, the de jure sovereign, they gained the 
name loyalists, and the Shogun and his followers, on the contrary, were 
labeled the insurgents. As far as the masses were concerned, the ques- 
tion as to which was really right was a riddle. Therefore, about this 
time there w^is made such a saying as, "Victors of civil war, whoever they 


may be, are called the loyalists, and the defeated are indiscriminately 
called the Insurgents." Revolutions in Japan were always different In 
one respect from those of other countries. The de jure sovereignty of 
the state has been invariably kept by emperors, and no attempt has been 
made on them. In the feudal period the victors of civil wars had gained 
control over the Imperial Court and exercised de facto sovereignty in the 
state with imperial sanction. They branded all their rivals "rebels" 
and proclaimed themselves "loyalists/ 3 a term which signified justice 
and righteousness to the people. If communication had been well 
developed, there must have arisen a strong public opinion which would 
have withheld the power from this small number of men. Then the 
solution of the case might have taken a much different course, although 
the final result was probably the same, i.e. the restoration of de facto 
sovereignty to the Emperor. 




In this chapter the development of the system of communication* 
and general education from the beginning of New Japan until today 
will be related to the growth of the printing press. For each period 
in our succeeding study of the newspaper, therefore, reference will 
have to be frequently made to the findings in this chapter. 

The modern mail system in Japan originated in a novel manner. 
Baron Mayeshima, who, under the old regime, had spent most of his 
time in traveling around the country, felt deeply the defects of the 
communication system in Japan. From an American missionary, 
Mr, Williams, he learned about the Western system of mail transporta- 
tion and its great influence on the more advanced achievements of the 
Western nations. Because of his knowledge of the English language, of 
his broad experience in the matter of communication under the old 
regime, and of his rare talent, Mayeshima, then a young man, was 
appointed by the new government as the Chief Secretary of the newly 
established Bureau of Transportation (Ekitei Kyoku). Immediately, 
in May, 1870, he opened a regular mail service between Tokyo and 
Osaka, covering a distance of 360 miles. 

In this new mail system postage stamps came into use. At first very 
thin and fragile paper was used to print them, so that they could be used 
but once. Later the cancellation method of preventing their re-use 
was adopted. 

By 1873 the modern mail system was extended throughout the 
country, and private couriers had been abolished. People were slow to 
understand the nature of the public mail service. They tried to beat 
down the postal fees, asked for the usual gifts of tea and tobacco 1 in 

1 In Old Japan it was customary for a business house to treat its customers with 
tea and tobacco. This is still in practice in most country towns. 



post-office, and demanded the personal delivery of each piece of mail 
by the carrier. 

It was several years before the general public became convinced of 
the merit of the new mail system, and the Bureau of Transportation did 
not have much business to do in the earlier period. For this reason it 
encouraged the newspapers by giving them special privileges in order to 
increase its own official functions. All manuscripts were exempted from 
postal fees, and the delivery of one copy of each paper in the metro- 
politan district was charged with the postage of only one-eighth of a 
cent. The private couriers lost their business on transmission of regular 
mails now, but, under the encouragement of the government officials, 
they established express agencies and engaged in the transportation of 
commodities. In 1877 Japan was admitted to the membership of the 
Universal Postal Union, and soon she was provided with effective postal 
and telegraphic systems. In 1885 the Bureau of Transportation was 
advanced to an independent state department, called the Department 
of Communication (Teiskin-Sho). 

Before the telegraph was introduced rapid communication in Japan 
was obtained by means of beacons, rockets, and flag signalings. Tele- 
graphic apparatus was for the first time brought into the country by 
Commodore Perry of the United States in 1854, and was presented to the 
Tokugawa Shogun as a gift. In 1858 Nariaki Shimazu, the daimyo of 
Satsuma, established the wires in his castle and experimented with them 
for his personal use. In 1869 the new government established telegraphy 
between Tokyo and Yokohama, and gradually extended it into other 
localities. In 1885 it was extended throughout the country, and in 1886 
both postal and telegraphic services were consolidated. Wireless teleg- 
raphy has since then been introduced, but is confined to military uses. 
The table on page 32 shows the development of both the postal and the 
telegraphic services in Japan: 

The telephone was established between Yokohama and Tokyo, in- 
1877, and the next year the service was extended to several other local- 
ities, but for official use only. Since 1895, however, it has gradually 
been introduced into all large cities for general use, and at present small 
country towns are also provided with it. The applications for telephones 


have been far In excess of the number of Installations which the author- 
ities can undertake with the funds at their disposal. At the end of 























1893 , . 




















March, 1916, the outstanding applications numbered 140,000. The 
introductory tables given on page 33 show the growth of telephone 
and telegraph service in Japan. 

The first railway in Japan was begun in the spring of 1870 and com- 
pleted in May, 1872. It extended 18 miles between Tokyo and Yoko- 
hama. In July, 1870, a twenty-mile line between Osaka and Kobe was 
also started. In 1877 a twenty-seven mile line between Kyoto and Osaka 
was opened, and subsequently many new lines were gradually constructed 
year after year both by government and by private corporations. In 
1908, however, all the important railroads owned by the private corpora- 
tions were purchased by the government and put under the control of 
a special bureau of railways. 

The opening of highways to build railroads through the mountains 
was an exceedingly difficult task in Japan. For this reason water trans- 
portation has always been more efficient since the beginning of national 
history. Under the Tokugawa regime the building of large boats was 
strictly prohibited both to the lords and the people, and therefore there 
was nothing but the small junk. After 1868, however, the number of 

1 This table was made from various sources. This is true of the succeeding 
tables also. 




Number of Subscribers 

Number of Exchanges 











78 517 



157 167 



181 881 

2 878 



3 135 


221 048 

3 252 



Telegraph Lines 




(Figures for the 



period between 



1877 and 1892 
not obtainable) 



1891 . . 


1898 . 

52 475 

31 282 








117 763 


1916 . ..... 

122 830 

562 352 







1872 ' 


64.66 / ' 


181 53 

63 63 

245 36 

1888 . 




1893 ... 




1903 , 




1908 * 










large-sized seagoing vessels rapidly increased and, together with the 
development of land transportation, they have been a great factor in 
the national progress, 


















period af 
not obtai 


for the 
ter 1891 






Since the Restoration of Meiji, highways have been fairly well 
developed throughout the country. Bridges and ferries have been per- 
fected, mountain passes opened, and various other obstacles, which had 
existed under the feudal regime, have entirely disappeared. The fol- 
lowing table shows the extension of highways in the country at the end 
of 1913: 


National highways (42 ft. or wider) 2,178 ri* 

Prefectural highways (24-30 ft.) 9,179 ri 

Village highways (indefinite width) 107,768 ri 


* A ri is 2.44030 miles. 

.1 19,125 ri 

The largest number of vehicles for land transportation, are moved by 
human power. For this reason the traffic is slow and inefficient. Only 
a small number of automobiles were in use in 1915, although since that 
time there has been a rapid increase, and we can safely estimate that the 
figures given on page 35 must now be multiplied by many times. 




For Business 

For Personal Use 



8 516 

8 516 

Carriages (horse and ox) 
Jmrikisha (human power). . . . 
Wagons (human power) .... . 

325 169 

1 339 401 

1 664 576 


48 405 

568 779 

617 184 

Cars moved by human power 
on railways 
Electric cars 









2,667,923 , 


From its beginning the new regime of Meiji paid great attention to 
the diffusion of culture among all people. First of all, the class bar was 
removed from the educational circle, and equal opportunity was given 
to all citizens. In 1869 an ordinance relating to universities, middle 
schools, and elementary schools was issued, and in 1871 the State Depart- 
ment of Education was established to supervise and control national 
education. In 1872 an imperial rescript was promulgated which said, 
" Henceforward education shall be so diffused that there may not be 
a village with an ignorant family, nor a family with an ignorant mem- 
ber." In the same year the compulsory public-school system was first 
established; and an entirely westernized education has been rapidly 
diffused among the younger generation of both sexes. Technical schools 
and higjher educational institutions were also rapidly developed, and in a 
decadfe illiteracy was reduced to a small proportion. In less than a 
generation after the birth of New Japan she has become one of the 
states which has the most advanced system of public education. The 
table introducing page 36 shows the development of public education in 
Japan. From this table it will be noticed that the increase 'of the school 
attendance by girls is remarkable, although eajlier in the period it was 
far inferior to that of boys. The educational system was first modeled 
on the French and American types, and later, through Herr Hausknecht, 
on Germanism. However, since the war a reversal has set in. 



(6-12 YEARS or AGE) 









1873... . 

The exact fi 
1906 coul 


gures for the ] 
d not be obt< 


period 1873- 


58 00 
91 00 
98 00 
98 86 
98 80 
98 80 

23 00 
72 00 
95 00 
97 26 
97 62 
97 67 

41 00 
82 00 
96 00 


The number of schools, teachers, and pupils in 1907 were as follows: 1 





Elementary Schools ... 




Schools for the Blind and Dumb 



4 034 



19 359 

Higher Normal Schools for Men. 




Higher Normal Schools for Women ... 




Temporary Training Schools * 




Secondary Schools . 




Girls' High Schools 




High Schools (University Schools) 



4 888 

Imperial Universities . 



7 370 

Professional Schools . . 



26 318 

Industrial Schools 



250 090 

Training Schools for Industrial Teachers 



Various Other Schools 



150 668 





Since 1907 there has been a considerable development of all sorts of 
schools. Especially have the organs for higher education been improved 
in 1919 by the increase of high schools, higher technical colleges, and 
imperial universities on the one hand, and by recognizing an equal 
standard of privileges for high schools, colleges, and universities, of 
private and national establishment, on the other. " 

I'Okuma, Fifty Years of New Japan, Vol. II, p. 172, 


The first public library was established in 1872. It has developed 
into the Imperial Library of Tokyo. Since 1881 when library regula- 
tions were issued the establishment of both public and private libraries 
has been encouraged. In 1915 there were altogether 667, of which 264 
were of public, and 403 of private, maintenance. Many schools also 
have their own libraries open to the public. The best-equipped libraries 
are the Imperial Library of Tokyo and the library attached to the Tokyo 
Imperial University. In 1915 the former contained 522,887 volumes, 
of which 437,414 were of Japanese and Chinese books and 85,437 foreign. 
In the same year the latter library had a total of 504,000 volumes 
274,000 Japanese and Chinese and 230,000 foreign books. 

Thus, since the beginning of the new era, the systems of communica- 
tion and education have begun to improve. The restrictions against 
the freedom of discussion have been greatly diminished. The result 
is a rapid development of the modern printing press. 


In the preceding chapter we have examined the history of the 
systems of communication and of education, the two most important 
factors in the development of public opinion, and we have found that 
they have had a rapid and constant development. Among all means 
of communication which grew up with New Japan the most important 
one for political development was the newspaper. As soon as the barriers 
against free communication of speech and the press were partially lifted 
in 1868, newspapers began to make their appearance. During its first 
several years journalism was run primarily by amateurs who hoped to 
make themselves known by means of it. From the earliest period the 
dominant interest in most papers was political, especially anti-govern- 
ment propaganda. Therefore these early papers may be called political 
journals, but it is not proper to characterize them as "party organs," 
because there was no organized political party in Japan until 1880. 

The modern Japanese newspaper originated in the translation of 
Western newspapers by the government. In 1811 the Tokugawa 
Shogunate made it a part of the work of the Astronomical Observatory 
to translate Western literature. Under the regime of Shogun Yoshimune 
(1713-44) Dutch literature had been introduced, and until 1860 it was 
the only Western literature studied by the Japanese. But in 1860 
English, French, German, and Russian were also taken up by the Depart- 
ment of Translation, which name was then changed to the "Bureau 
for the Investigation of Western Literatures' 7 (Yosho Shirabedokoro) . 
This bureau was the origin of the Kaisei College, the present Imperial 
University of Tokyo. 1 Yorozuya Heishiro, the director of the bureau, 

1 In 1868 the new government changed the name of the Kaisei College to the 
Daigaku Nanko, and in 1877 it was combined with the Tokyo Medical College and 
was named the Tokyo University. Then it had four departments law, medicine, 
science, and literature. In 1886 its name was again changed to the Tokyo Imperial 
University, and subsequently many more departments were added. 


in 1864 published the translation of a Dutch newspaper of Batavia, 
Java, as the Batavia News (Kamban Batama Shimburi). This paper 
was printed by means of movable wood types, invented at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century, and was sold to the public through the 
Rohokan bookstore by the government's order. The contents were a 
sort of foreign news, which, being quite out of date, could not constitute 
a newspaper in a strict sense. 

In the same year the Foreign News (Kaigai SMmbun), a translation 
of New York war news, and three other papers of similar nature made 
their appearance. They were the Universal News (Rikugo Sodan), 
Hongkong Shimbun, and Foreign News (Kaigai Shimpo), all of which 
were sold through the Rohokan bookstore. They were broadsides, 
printed on several sheets of kanski* and containing no editorial, no 
political or other contemporary news of Japan, and no advertising. 
The readers were limited to a small number of educated samurai, and 
the circulation was insignificant, perhaps several hundred for each issue. 

In March, 1868, under the new regime, the Dajokan Nisshi (Diary 
of the Privy Council) was published in Kyoto, and in May of the same 
year Kojo Nisshi (Diary of Yedo Castle) was published. As they were 
government enterprises, a large number of copies were printed and 
distributed regardless of expense. The subscribers were principally 
the officers of the central and local governments and school teachers. 
These two papers were the origin of the new government's official gazette 
which has further developed. 

Having been stimulated by the central government's example, organs 
were published by prefectural authorities, numbers of private newspapers 
appeared, and by the end of 1868 there were ten official gazettes and 
fifteen private papers. They had few editorials, and the greater part 
of the paper was filled with general news of the civil war which was 
going on at that time. The following article by Mr. Ishikawa illus- 
trates the situation of those days: 

The Hochi Shimbun was the first government organ published through the 
suggestion, of Mitsu Mayejima, the Minister of Communication, and was called 
the Yulin Hochi Shimbun (Mail Reporting News). At that time this paper 
was proud of being a government organ. 

1 Japanese paper 9^X 12 inches. 


In Matsumoto of the Prefecture of Shinano there is a paper called the 
Shinano Nippo, which name was given by me in 1895. Its origin was the SMmpi 
Shimbun, which was published by the Prefectural Office when the Chikuma 
Prefectural Office was in Matsumoto in the early period of the era of Meiji. 
Prefectural Governor Moriteru Noguyama had consulted with Chiaki Wata- 
nabe, his first secretary, and reached the conclusion that for the purpose of 
enlightening the local population there is nothing more effective than the 
publication of newspapers. Thereupon he established the Bureau of News- 
papers and summoned the local scholars and influential citizens to his 
office. There he appointed the former as the officers of the new Bureau 
and ordered the latter to become subscribers of the newspaper which was 
to be published by the Bureau. These people considered this command a great 
honor and privilege. The fact that the newspaper carrier visited a house soon 
became a sign of an illustrious family, and the wealthy people from every village 
called at the Prefectural Office to beg for the privilege of becoming an honorable 
subscriber for the newspaper. Thereupon the petitions were granted for the 
reason that these people had an admirable mode of thinking. It sounds absurd 
now, but it was a real fact, and if we further investigate the matter, we might 
find many such cases in other localities also. 1 

The first modern type of private newspaper was published in 1863 
by an Englishman in Yokohama. However, it was a small paper printed 
only in English and was discontinued in a few months. The first news- 
paper of this kind published in Japan in the vernacular appeared in 
1864. It was published by Ginko Kishida at his home, 142 Umeda- 
Cho, Yokohama. The following is an extract: 

I published my first newspaper in 1864. The motive of my newspaper 
enterprise lay in my acquaintance with Joseph Hikozo, from America, while I was 
engaged in the publication of an English- Japanese dictionary in co-operation 
with Dr. Hebon of Yokohama. Joseph Hikozo is a native of Japan, a fish- 
erman by name of Hikozo, and was born in the Prefecture of Harhna, In 
his eleventh year he was cast adrift on the ocean and arrived in America in his 
little boat. He was educated there, and in 1853 came to Japan as Commodore 
Perry's official interpreter. He was provided with a residence in Yokohama 
by the Shogunate. At that time I happened to be living with Dr. Hebon, and 
there I met Hikozo for the first time. I kept up my friendship with him, dis~ 

1 Hanzan Ishikawa, special article in SMmbun Kogiroku, pp. 5-6. 


cussed with him things about foreign countries, and learned English from him. 
In those days a Senzo Homma of Kakegawa in the Prefecture of Harima lived 
in Yokohama studying English, who also visited Hikozo frequently*. One day 
Hikozo told us that in America there is a thing called a newspaper. It collects 
interesting news of daily events, and the publication of that news is distributed 
to the public. Previous to this I had been convinced already of the usefulness 
of the newspaper, but simply did not know the method of its publication. 
Now, having been enlightened and persuaded by Hikozo, I decided at last to 
try it. Then Hikozo translated Western newspapers, and Homma and I wrote 
the translations out in plain Japanese. In those days there were no movable 
types and I had to write the block copies myself, and engrave and print them 
on five or six pages of Hanshi (writing paper in size 9J^X 12 inches). This was 
in 1864, and is the origin of newspapers and periodical press in Japan. 1 

In spite of such strenuous effort, this enterprise did not arouse much 
interest in the public and failed after only a two months' trial. 

In January, 1867, a Dutchman named Berry published the Bankoku 
SMmbun (Universal News). He was a graduate of Cambridge Univer- 
sity and came to Yokohama as a missionary. With the little time he 
could spare he began a trial of newspaper publication, employing Zendo 
Ajiki as his assistant. At first it contained only the translations of 
Western newspapers, but after its tenth edition it added domestic news. 
This was the first newspaper published by a foreigner in the vernacular, 
and was also the pioneer in the use of Western paper in printing presses. 
Its price was at first three sen a copy, later two sen. After six months' 
trial it was also stopped. 

The fourth journal appearing was the Seiyo ZassM (Western Maga- 
zine) , published monthly by Shinzo Yanagawa in October, 1867. It 
was a translation of scientific articles which had appeared in Western 
newspapers, and sold for two sen a copy. The first issue contained 
the following announcement: 

We beg to announce to the public that our purpose in publishing this 
magazine is to increase our general knowledge by gathering new theories and 
opinions from all over the world, like the "Magazine," a sort of newspaper 
published monthly in Western countries. 

1 Kamezo Asakura, Hompo Shimbun-sM, pp. 29-30* 


Only four numbers were issued, but this was the origin of periodical 
literature in Japan. 

The same person who had conducted the publication of the Western 
Magazine established Chugai Shimbun (Domestic and Foreign News) 
soon after the former was stopped. This paper became so popular 
that every issue was to have been reprinted. Unfortunately, however, 
it was also discontinued after February 20, 1870, the date of the death 
of its proprietor. The success of this paper was probably due to the 
use of movable wood types. 

It was an exceedingly difficult task to maintain a newspaper in those- 
early days because of the general illiteracy, the imperfect printing de- 
vices, the undeveloped means of communication and transportation, 
and finally, the limited resources by which the papers were maintained, 
advertisements being unknown. 

The possibilities of newspapers could not be realized until the movable 
types came into use. In the old days there was just one set of movable 
wood types, which first was used by the government and later was trans- 
mitted to a private newspaper; but a majority of the newspapers used 
the hand-engraved wood blocks. In 1870 Shozo Motogi, the superin- 
tendent of the Nagasaki Steel Mill, studied the art of European printing 
under a Dutchman, and in 1869, with his two assistants Yo and Ki, 
he completed the method of manufacturing movable lead types, and sent 
his men to Osaka to open a lead-type foundry there. M. Izeki, the 
governor of the Prefecture of Kanagawa, then formed a plan to start 
a newspaper with Yo as editor, and to introduce his movable lead types. 
The first issue of the Yokohama Mainichi Shimbun (Yokohama Daily) 
appeared December 12, 1870. This was the first daily newspaper pub- 
lished in Japan. It adopted the editorial system of Western newspapers 
and used Western print paper, although more expensive than the native 
papers in those days, and its novelty gradually brought it a large circu- 
lation. Later its establishment was transferred to Tokyo. 

In the early days most newspapers were printed by large book pub- 
lishers. They could afford to print a small number of copies and were 
better able to sell them than the journalists. Later on, however, when 
circulation increased, every newspaper office established its own printing- 


shop and delivered the paper by its own carriers. Thus we see three 
stages in the development of newspaper publication: (1) Paper was 
printed and published by the editors themselves; (2) circulation too 
large for private control was managed by book publishers; (3) a well- 
equipped printing-shop was provided in the newspaper office itself. 

Newspaper carriers in the beginning wore dress coats. They visited 
houses from the back doors and after talking, smoking, and drinking 
tea leisurely, pulled out their papers from handbags and slowly left. 
These carriers were perhaps Qx~$amurai, who were strictly educated for 
good manners, but who did not make very prompt messengers. There- 
upon a new device was introduced. Newspaper carriers were dressed 
in plain light dress and were given lacquer boxes in which to carry papers. 
This box was attached to one end of a long pole, and at its other end 
was fixed a bell which attracted attention as the carrier went about 
delivering papers. 

In November, 1874, Yomiuri Shimbun attached kana (Japanese 
syllabary) to all difficult Chinese ideographs so that the less-educated 
people could read them. The circulation increased enormously, and 
many other papers soon followed that example. The first paper which 
used kana was the Tokyo^Kanaji SMmbun, which appeared on January 
25, 1873. In April, 1875, Tokyo Eire SMmbun (Illustrated Tokyo News) 
was established. It published human-interest stories beautifully illus- 
trated by the famous artist Yoshichika, and it met with great suc- 
cess. Its circulation at once reached 30,000. All these popular papers 
were called "Small-Newspaper," while those which published the politi- 
cal matters and editorials without using kana were named "Great- 
Newspaper" at that time. As time went on, however, each of these 
classes of papers gradually approached the other, small papers having 
adopted some political editorials in order to raise their dignity, while 
the great papers adopted more general news and human-interest stories 
in order to increase their circulation. 

In the earlier days the "newspaper dictionary" was in popular use. 
This contained the words and phrases generally used in journalistic 
literature. The "Small-Newspaper" diminished the difficulty of read- 
ing, however, and the demand increased so rapidly that the old hand 


press became inadequate. This situation was relieved, however, by the 
introduction of the steam engine from the West, which was first adopted 
by newspapers about 1874. The steam press stimulated a rapid growth 
of Japanese journalism. Advertisements in newspapers are relatively 
late developments in Japan. The earlier newspapers were maintained 
by the income from subscriptions and gifts. 

The prototypes of commercial advertisements were signboards, 
shop curtains, handbills, posters, seasonal compliments marked with 
shop names and trade-marks, and musicians who made announcements 
in the streets. 

About 1688 a few authors introduced a device for the announcement 
of new books which was the origin of commercial advertising in pub- 
lished matter. They printed the names of books, which were to appear 
on the last page of each new book. Bakin, the greatest novelist of the 
Tokugawa Period, in his Godairiki, VoL II, printed the following adver- 


Various new models of tobacco-bags and pipes for sale. Also Tokusho- 
gan (name of patent medicine) at \yi momme of silver (momme is about 
2 drams) a package. Kikonno-Tanoshimi (patent medicine for indigestion), 
made of gall of bear without mixture of starch, is newly advertised. Stamps 
are engraved either on metal or stone as you wish one word on stone is % 
momme of silver. When orders are sent from distant places, patrons are 
requested to inclose both the materials for engraving and the fee. 

How the authors of those days managed to live can be imagined from 
the fact that even with his genius Bakin had to conduct such an irk- 
some side business. 

Later advertisements took the form of fiction. Large business 
houses paid generous fees to popular authors to insert the names of 
their merchandise in some part of their stories. 1 

Handbills came into use about 1700. These contained names, 
prices, and descriptions of merchandise. In 1769 a man named Hyosuke 

Asakura, Hompo SMmbm-shi, pp. 21-23. 


Eblsuya advertised his tooth powder with an interesting story, written 
on handbills by a famous writer, Gennai Hiraga. The story was: 


Whitens Teeth & Purifies Mouth 

20 bags in 1 box 72 mon 
Refilling empty box 48 mon 



Notice! We intended to get so rich that we could build eight magnificent 
buildings for our mansion, surrounded by beautiful warehouses on all four sides, 
but alas I in vain. The succeeding misfortunes and continuous failures in our 
business have pressed us so hard that we can no longer do as we wish. At this 
very critical moment, however, a certain kind-hearted person has sympathized 
and taught us how to start a business which does not need any capital. What 
is it? Since present-day people are all intelligent and well-informed of such 
simple practices as this, to conceal the source of our prescription must be too 
absurd a policy. Consequently we inform the public as to how this powder is 
made. It is simply a sort of sand abundantly found in the Boshu district, as 
all tooth powders are today. The dealers merely add to it a pleasant odor, 
and give it different names according to their wits to attract the attention of 
the patrons. Therefore it is primarily a cheap thing indeed. But by making 
bags, printing designs, etc., considerable expenses are added to its manufacture, 
and consequently it is sold at a high price. In order to cut these unnecessary- 
expenses we put the full quantity of twenty bags in one large box, and make it 
handier for the user, so that no bags get soiled and broken nor brush be soiled 
while in use. With the idea to receive more profit by selling a larger quantity 
we give this to you directly with more or less smaller profit than the other 
tooth powders. 

Although I myself am an illiterate and ignorant person and know nothing 
about the prescription, a certain person has told me that this tooth powder, 
first of all, whitens teeth, then purifies mouth, cures the foul breath, refreshes 
the respiratory organs, and has still innumerably more valuable effects, as 
much as the bulk of the Mount Fuji. Whether this guaranty is true or not 
I do not know at all, being perfectly ignorant in such matters; but at any rate 


its principal end is in cleansing the teeth, and as to other enumerated excellent 
virtues there should be no harm done even if they were absolutely in non- 
existence. Furthermore, since the person who gave this prescription to me 
is not completely an idiot, I believe that probably there would be no harm in it, 
and therefore I selected the materials just as he told me, made this powder most 
carefully, and put it on sale at once because I am very badly in need of money 
now. If by any chance it may prove no good after a while, you may just cast 
it away, and, after all, it will be an insignificant loss to you, while as for myself 
the proverb "little drops of water make the mighty ocean" may prove per- 
fectly true, and your little purchase will thus benefit me enormously. Then, 
if you did not care to buy it again after using it once, I should have no reason 
whatsoever to be spiteful. Or, on the other hand, if it proves satisfactory to 
you, please tell your friends of its unusual merit; and then by the patronage of 
the general public our business will more and more prosper and we will soon 
be able tcr march out in the main street and put up a dazzling golden sign- 
board. Thereupon our present miserable situation will pass away and remain 
simply as an amusing recollection of the by-gone days' experience. Therefore 
we beg for the co-operation of all of you from the four corners of the earth 1 

November of the Year of Cow. 

SOSTJKX KAWAI, without capital, 

a resident of 'a back-alley tenement of Teppo-Cho. 
Sold at the Shop of 

also in a back-alley tenement, 

South Side, 4 Chome, Moto Shirokane Cho. 

You will find a cheap sign-board in the alley entrance across the Kannon 
Temple. Naturally we have no branch stores nor agents at all, nor are our 
goods sold by auctioneers. But, I myself may call on you once in a while. 1 

Books which were made solely for advertising then appeared 
(1781-88), such as the dictionary of the business houses of Yedo, list of 
hotels, restaurants, etc. Thus books, patent medicines, toilet articles, 
and notions were the first things which resorted to commercial adver- 

The Bankoku Shimbun, which Berry established in Yokohama, 1866, 
published advertisements for the first time. Other newspapers follow- 

Kogiroku, chapter on "Business Methods/' pp. 10- J3, 


ing the example of the Bankoku Shimbun, gave space to a small amount of 
advertising matter, with no idea of making it a part of their income. At 
that time advertisements had no prestige, as it was thought that they 
were used only by adventurers. A sudden change was brought about, 
however, when in 1890 the corporations were required to advertise 
their balance sheets regularly in newspapers. About the same time 
public notices and registrations at courts of law were also required to 
be published. This convinced the public of the legitimacy of adver- 
tising. At first the public was persuaded to advertise free of charge 
in newspapers. A little later, wfren the demand for advertising 
began to increase, small fees were charged and the rate was gradually 
raised. The real development of newspaper advertising, however, did 
not come until after the Japan-China War (1894-95). 

The opening of free communication by the Restoration of 1868 and 
the unusual interest in news caused by the subsequent civil wars ana 
political disputes gave rise to the modern newspaper. From 1868 to 

1873 the newspapers contained primarily news. Editorials were found 
in the Koko Shimbun and a few others. But soon a change came. In 

1874 when the Korean problem split the government and divided national 
opinion, and again in the same year when a joint memorial requesting 
an immediate establishment of a national assembly was addressed to 
the government by Goto, Soyejima, Itagaki, and five other prominent 
statesmen, political discussions began to attract the attention of the 
public. The number of newspapers and their circulation suddenly 
increased. Until then the circulation of large metropolitan papers was 
not more than a few thousand, but soon it passed the 10,000 mark, and in 
1877 the Choya had 19,000. Publishing expenses in those days were small 
because only a small number of men were employed. The subscription 
prices were from 60 to 80 sen a month, two or three times the present 
prices, and business competition was not sharp. Therefore most large 
newspapers made a fair profit and journalists flourished. By June 28, 
1872, there were 79 newspapers, and to these were added 43 in 1874,| 
59 in 1875, 108 in 1876, and 140 in 1877. Deducting those which wera 
discontinued, there were 253 newspapers in 1881. The total year!/ 
circulation of 225 newspapers at the end of 1877 was 37,683,330. This 


great increase of circulation was due to the civil wars, political agita- 
tions, development of communication, and diffusion of general educa- 
tion at that time. The violent tone of anti-government editorials, 
however, soon necessitated the provision of a stricter press law. This 
was promulgated in April, 1875, and caused a large number of news- 
paper offices and journalists to be punished. 



The restoration of political power from the Shogun to the Emperor 
was smoothly accomplished by the quick decision and wise management 
of Shogun Keiki and his officials. Many of his faithful daimyo, who 
were the hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa Clan, however, began to 
feel uneasy and indignant when they saw the new government was run by 
the WestemDaimyo, especially by the men of the Satsuma and the Choshu 
clans, who had been the principal enemies of the Shogunate at the 
latter part of its regime, and that very few of Tokugawa's adherents 
were admitted to office. At last a great conflict took place between 
Keiki's followers and the combined troops of many western daimyo. 
After a sharp encounter, Keiki's force was badly defeated and retreated 
north, while Keiki himself fled on a boat and returned to Yedo. 

Now the Satsuma and the Choshu clans became the chief power in 
the new government. They decided to force the Tokugawa Clan Into 
submission to the new regime, and thus to prevent any further internal 
disturbances. In January, 1868, a large expeditionary force started 
for Yedo, where a bloody civil war was approaching. At this critical 
moment, however, through a wise and farsighted arrangement made 
between Takarnori Saigo, the chief staff officer of the Imperial Army, 
and Awa Katsu, the commander in chief of Tokugawa's force, the 
disputes were settled peacefully on April 11, 1868, and Keiki retired 
from public life. 

At the end of the Tokugawa regime, when foreign relations became 
very difficult, the Shogun J s Court convoked a great meeting of aU daimyo 
to discuss the foreign policy of the country. That marked the beginning 
of a popular form of government in Japan. Contrary to previous 
practices, the Shogunate also asked for the imperial opinion as to the 
most serious diplomatic problems, and introduced the interference by 



the Imperial Court thereafter. Such a practice was a step toward the 
participation of a larger number of the population in state affairs, and 
proved fatal to the further existence of the feudal regime. Now the 
new government was organized by the men mostly of the southern 
clans, excluding the former adherents of the Tokugawa Shogunate. 
This was not, therefore, a fair representative government, and naturally 
the excluded northerners were not pleased with it. It was clear, how- 
ever, that the trend of the time was such that this sort of partially repre- 
sented administrative system could not be well maintained, because 
even the old Tokugawa regime in its later period had accepted the repre- 
sentations of all lords and of the Imperial Court regarding important 
foreign affairs. Consequently, in order to avoid a misunderstanding 
of the general public as to the new administrative policy, and to pacify 
the discontented anti-governmental elements, the following public oath 
by the Emperor was proclaimed on March 14, 1868: 

1. A widely representative Congress shall be established and all state 
affairs shall be referred to the national opinion. 

2. The government and the governed shall unite one in heart and perform 
the state functions conscientiously. 

3. Civil and military officials as well as the general masses shall be 
encouraged to attain their respective desires, and the public mind shall be 
prevented from becoming tired and discouraged. 

4. Time-honored absurd customs shall be abolished and universal justice 
shall be the basis of all practices. 

5. Seek for knowledge all over the world, and thus greatly stimulate the 
development of the foundations of our Imperial policy. 

With a desire to bring about an unprecedented change in our history, I, 
myself, preceding my subjects, swear the above-stated five articles before the 
Gods in Heaven, and on Earth; and I wish to establish a national policy. You, 
my subjects, in conformity with this principle, also exert yourselves to the 
utmost for the accomplishment of this end! 

This Charter Oath is sometimes called the "Japanese Magna Charta." 
From its spirit the later Imperial Constitution was developed. This was, 
therefore, the beginning of the struggle for freedom of speech in Japan, 

The new government was organized under the direct command of 
the late Emperor Meiji, then a boy of fifteen. It had a cabinet with 


one premier, a vice-premier, seven departmental ministers, and an 
advisory body of eighteen state councilors. The rudimentary organiza- 
tion of the administrative body was now complete. However, the in- 
come from the Imperial Household Estates was the government's only 
resource, the country being still under the direct rule of two hundred 
and seventy-six daimyo. The restoration of state affairs was so far 
merely nominal. The real power was not yet in the central government. 
Therefore, the Satsuma and the Choshu, the two most influential clans, 
proposed to surrender their fiefs to the Emperor. Kido, a retainer of the 
Choshu Clan, was the originator of this movement, and Okubo and 
Saigo of the Satsuma Clan at once persuaded their lords to follow this 
example. Hizen and Tosa, two other large western daimyo, did likewise, 
and on January 20, 1869, four of these daimyo presented a joint petition 
to the Emperor asking for his permission to restore their fiefs to him. 
On June 17, 1869, the petitions of these and other daimyo were approved, 
and feudalism was at last abolished. Two hundred and sixty-one ex- 
daimyo had been appointed to the governorship of their old fiefs, and 
these were allowed one-tenth of their former revenues. Their retainers 
were given official positions under them with a certain fixed income. 
Under this rule the people continued to pay more respect to their ex- 
feudal lords than to the new Imperial government. Therefore, on July 
14, 1871, an Imperial decree was issued, which entirely abolished the 
remnants of the feudal system, and removed the ex-daimyo from their 
offices. The state was then divided into three urban prefectures and 
seventy-two prefectures with the governors directly appointed by the 
central government. Now for the first time the organization of a 
strongly centralized Imperial government was complete. 

These great works of the restoration were not originally promoted 
either by the court nobles or by the large daimyo. The real dynamo 
was the genius among the lower samurai class as expressed by Kido, 
Iwakura, Saigo, Okubo. The ordinary samurai, or middle class of Old 
Japan, were in close contact with the situation existing among both the 
upper classes and the common people. Therefore they were the only 
class which really understood the national situation and the public need 
of the time. 


After the Restoration of the Meiji, Japan's attitude toward the 
Western countries changed entirely. She realized the superiority of 
Western civilization and began to imitate it with an amazing rapidity. 
Neighboring states of Asia, particularly China and Korea, looked upon 
this national awakening as a sign of national weakness and lack of 
self-respect; and they turned their haughty and scornful looks toward 

In 1873 Korea refused to accept the Japanese envoy without any 
cause, and, furthermore, a high Korean official posted a placard at the 
gate of the Japanese legation with the taunting inscription, "Japan 
bowed cowardly before the Western barbarians." This incident greatly 
angered the Japanese people, and clamor for war against Korea spread 
like wildfire. At this time Korea was nominally a dependency of 
China. The Japanese government therefore sent an inquiry to the 
Chinese government to ascertain that fact, and received a decidedly 
negative reply. The majority opinion in the Japanese government 
swung in favor of war, led by the Great Saigo, then the idol of the mili- 
tary party and one of the foremost statesmen in the country. Shigenobu 
Okuma, Kaoru Inouye, and Awa Katsu, the minority leaders, stood 
in vigorous opposition. After the return of Prince Iwakura, and his 
assistants Kido and Okubo, from their mission to the Western countries, 
an extraordianry conference was called before His Majesty in the 
Imperial Court. There Okubo's vigorous argument against war turned 
the whole tide of the government's attitude, and war was avoided. 

The resentment of the defeated war party, however, grew until a 
large number of them, headed by Marshal Saigo, presented their resig- 
nations, which were accepted. The government was now in the hands 
of peace-loving civilian officials, who paid their greatest attention to 
internal improvement and so enraged the discontented militarists who 
filled the country that an outbreak of civil war threatened. 

On January 14, 1874, the Minister-of-the-Right, Prince Iwakura, 
one of the leading pacifists, was attacked by nine assassins and badly 
injured. A few weeks after that a rebellion was started at Saga of 
Kyushu Island by Shimpei Ito, who had recently resigned his high 
official position of Minister of Justice and of State Councilor on account 


of the Korean problem. After a two months' warfare the insurrection 
was suppressed, and on April 13 Ito and his twelve lieutenants were 
executed as the first victims of the rebel law which Ito himself, as Minis- 
ter of Justice, had made. Of the rest of the rebel force, 136 were sen- 
tenced to the penitentiary, 240 were deprived of their titles, 7 were 
imprisoned, and 10,713 were pardoned. 

While civil war was still going on, another international difficulty 
arose. In July, 1871, fifty Japanese subjects were shipwrecked. They 
drifted to Formosa and, there, all but about twelve of them were killed 
and devoured by the natives. In March, 1873, another Japanese boat 
drifted to that island, and her occupants met with a similar fate. There- 
upon Japan requested an explanation from China. The latter, in whose 
mind Japan was almost non-existent at this period, haughtily disclaimed 
any responsibility, stating that the part of Formosa where the Japanese 
subjects had been killed was not Chinese territory. The indignation 
of the Japanese public grew so strong that even those who had vigor- 
ously opposed war at the time of the Korean incident now unanimously 
requested the government to send an expeditionary force to Formosa. 
Two months' warfare ensued, and the Formosa savages were completely 
subjugated. Japan, then, established a system of colonization to the 
great surprise of China, who made a strong protest by insisting that she 
had neither disclaimed her territorial sovereignty over Formosa nor 
received previously any notice from Japan. All these false charges 
were easily disproved, but China kept up her protest with every new 
pretext, and the situation grew critical. Only by the mediation of the 
British Minister to China at the last moment was a diplomatic break 
avoided, and China paid a small indemnity for the settlement of the 

The new government was opposed not only by neighboring states 
but by a large number of conservatives at home who were greatly dis- 
satisfied. The sudden abolition of the privilege of wearing swords by 
the samurai, the changes of men's custom of wearing the hair long, the 
abolition, of hereditary pensions which the samurai class had received 
for the past 700 years, and many other sudden changes in social, politi- 
cal, and economic institutions, naturally raised many complaints and 


provoked strong antagonisms among the conservatives. Thus, militarists, 
conservatives, and radicals were all opposed to the existing government 
at this time. 

Rebellion after rebellion of the discontented samurai occurred all 
over the country* The most serious of these was the uprising of more 
than 20,000 students of the fifteen private colleges which were estab- 
lished and conducted by Marshal Saigo near the city of Kagoshima. 
Saigo himself was too thoughtful a person to start such a disorderly 
movement, and, when his students begged him so to act, he kindly 
cautioned them. But the insurgent spirit of his young followers grad- 
ually grew so intense that while their master was out hunting in the 
distant mountains they raised the standard of revolution, February 
15, 1877, and marched on to meet the government's forces. They were 
the picked youths of the Prefecture of Satsuma, whom Saigo had trained 
for many months, and they defeated the Imperial Army In the first clash. 
The news reached Saigo while in the mountains. He hurried home, 
and was at once elected commander in chief of all rebel forces. The 
governor and other officials of the prefectural government joined Saigo, 
and turned over the government treasures and ammunition to him. 
The report that the Great Saigo himself at last stood as the leader of the 
insurrection attracted a large number of his admirers far and near, 
and by hundreds and thousands they rushed toward Kagoshima from 
all directions of the island of Kyushu. Rapid action by the govern- 
ment kept the disturbance from the main island (Hon-to), and after 
eight months of continuous bloody fighting the rebel force was subdued. 
Saigo and his lieutenants were killed in the field, September 24, and the 
war was ended. 

Saigo, Okubo, and Kido are called the "Three Heroes of the Restora- 
tion of the Meiji," because they were the central figures of the Imperialist 
party in that great historical event. Saigo was killed on the battle 
field tinder the ignominious name of the "Rebel Chief. 77 Kido died 
about the same time. And Okubo, the last of the " Three Heroes," 
was assassinated May 14, 1878, after having established the local 
autonomy of prefectures, counties, and villages under a representative 
form of government. 


As previously stated, it was indeed Okubo who defeated Saigo in 
the Korean incident. Of the three heroes, Saigo represented the mili- 
tary party; Okubo represented the civilian class; and Kido stood 
between them as arbitrator. Many people thought Okubo the cause 
of Saigo's death, and so were determined that he should not remain 
unpunished and prosper alone. 

The Choya Shimbun published a detailed account of the assassina- 
tion the day after its occurrence, and thereupon its publication was 
suspended for a while, although no editor was punished. The following 
is the translation of the full article, which appeared in the general news 
column of No. 1412 issue of the Choya Shimbun, published on May 15, 1878 : 

What a sad day the May 14, 1878, was for us! A terrible incident hap- 
pened in our government. It was a quiet morning with dusky sky when a 
reporter came in great haste and told the following incident: 

About 8:20 in the morning, when Mr. Okubo, Minister of the Interior, 
was approaching Shimizudani near Ki-oi Cho in his carriage on the way to 
visit the Premier's office, six assassins, who were in ambush in the mulberry 
fields on both sides of the road, suddenly sprang out with swords flashing in 
their hands. They first attacked the horses, one of which was instantly 
killed. The other fell flat from severe wounds, and the carriage turned side- 
ways. They then attacked from all directions, and after killing the driver 
with three strokes they pulled the Minister out of the carriage, the six blades 
flashed in the air, and fell upon him simultaneously. The Lord Minister at 
last evanesced like dew drops on the roadside. The wounds are said to be two 
cuts on the forehead, one on the neck, one on the back, one on the abdomen, 
one on the leg, as well as other serious wounds. 

While the horses were being killed, a footman attached to the lord's 
carriage ran at top speed and reported the incident to three precincts and two 
police stations. Thereupon a police force was immediately hurried to the 
scene. Before they arrived, however, the assassins had thrown their six bloody 
swords on the roadside, and run to the gate of the Bureau of the Imperial House- 
hold and surrendered themselves. The names of the six are: 

I. Shimada (30 years old) 
R. Osa (24 years old) 
O. Sugimoto (29 years old) 
B. Sugimura (17 years old) 
K, Wakiya (28 years old) 
J. Asai (25 years old) 


The first five are the samurai of the Prefecture of Ishikawa, and the last 
is of the Prefecture of Shimane. When they were arrested, all of them looked 
perfectly natural, showing no sign of emotion, and, some of them even smiling 
pleasantly. They were soon taken to the Third Department from the Imperial 
Household Bureau. After this incident, a number of horsemen and police 
superintendents strongly guarded the gate to the Imperial Palace. 

The Lord Minister's body was wrapped in blankets and taken to his home, 
where a short time later Mr, Nakakoji, a chamberlain, arrived with a special 
Imperial message of condolence. When the incident was reported to the 
Imperial Palace, several court physicians were at once hurried to the scene on 
horseback, but it was all over when they arrived. From the high officials 
down to the common people, all, without exception, were deeply stricken with 
horror and grief. The assassination of the Senior Minister li at Sakurada 
Gate under the Old Regime coming to our minds, it deepens our grief exceed- 
ingly, and our pen becoming confused, for which our readers will kindly 
pardon us. 

Now, in connection with this incident, there was another surprise. About 
3 A.M., upon opening the contribution box there was found among the number 
of contributed articles a sealed letter bearing the name of E.. Umemoto, No. 6 
Suido-Cho, Koishikawa. It contained a writing titled "Zankan Jo" (An- 
nouncement of Assassinating the Wicked Man)., signed by Ichiro Shimada and 
five others, whom we have mentioned above. In the postscript they asked 
that every newspaper kindly publish the enclosed announcement, since they 
were going to assassinate Minister Okubo on his way today. 

The contents of this announcement briefly stated that the crimes com- 
mitted by Lord Okubo were: (1) By suppressing public discussions and 
restricting the people's natural rights, he used politics for his selfish purposes; 
(2) by enforcing laws arbitrarily and committing favoritism openly, he gained 
his position and power; (3) by starting public works not immediately neces- 
sary and by making unnecessary repairs, he wasted national wealth; (4) by 
showing dislike for the true statesmen and nationalistic men, he caused internal 
disturbances; (5) by misdirecting international diplomacy, he injured the 
national dignity. 

This explanation was written on thirteen pages of ruled writing paper in 
detail in excellent literary style. As it was an extraordinarily serious matter, 
however, it could not be published without official permission. The matter 
was reported to the third police station of the first precinct, where the letter 
is being kept in temporary custody. 


The letter also contained a statement regretting their failure to join the 
heroic dead of Saigo last year in spite of their ardent desire to do so. It Is 
said that these samurai are the members of the so-called "Chukoku Sha" 
(Warning Society). Further report will be made in the official gazette. 1 

The following is a part of the letter mentioned by the Choya Shimbun, 
for which that paper was punished: 


We, Ichiro Shimada and others, the samurai of the Prefecture of Ishikawa, 
with the utmost respect report to His Majesty Our Emperor and announce to 
the Brethren of more than thirty million: 

After sincere and careful observations, we, Ichiro and others have come 
to the conclusion that recent laws and edicts have not been made either by 
the gracious mind of His Majesty above nor by the public opinion of the people 
below, but are simply made by the conjectures and arbitrary decisions of a 

few unscrupulous officials in powerful positions Because of the unruli- 

ness of these wicked authorities it is dangerous for the future destiny of our 
nation to allow them to remain longer in their positions "pulling strings." 

Those who would make an immediate adjustment of our political affairs 
should exterminate these unprincipled officials, to free the state of these harms 
on one hand and rescue the people from their sufferings on' the other. By 
doing so patriotism can be aroused and the nation rescued from its weakening 
tendency. Consequently, after a careful scrutiny of the master-criminals who 
deserve to be exterminated, Koin Kido was selected first of all, then Toshi- 
michi Okubo, and Tomomi Iwakura. Shigenobu Okuma, Hirobmni Ito, 
Kiyotaka Kuroda, and Toshiyoshi Kawakami were also pronounced unpardon- 
able. As for such mediocre personages as Sanjo (then the Premier) and other 
equally undesirable officials, they are not even worthy of our consideration: 
if the roots are cut, twigs and leaves shall naturally wither away. 

In the execution of this task, however, we, Ichiro and Ms comrades, were 
too few in number to bring about these great punishments. Therefore, we 
hoped merely to get rid of either one of the two master-criminals, Koin and 
Toshimichi. But unexpectedly Koin died of illness. This shows, no doubt, 
Heaven had taken up the punishment of one of the greatest rascals in it 

i Qalkotsu Miyatake, Ski^ka Shi, pp. 117-18, 


own hands and now wished that we kill the other, and complete the exter- 
mination of both. Hereupon, we, Ichiro and others, obeying the will of 
Heaven and following the wishes of the people, swing our sharp swords and 
execute the master-crook Toshimichi. As to the rest of the wicked officials, 
we believe that there will be someone under the sky who shall succeed our aim, 
and that these criminals shall not escape. 

Your humble subjects Ichiro and others humbly report to His Majesty 
and announce to our Brethren of the entire state that we commit this violence 
under the strain of an intolerable situation, and that our only thought is for 
the promotion of national welfare in sacrificing our lives. We beg to advise 
that the improvement of political conditions and the development of our 
national welfare in the future shall depend on the wisdom of His Majesty and 
on the public opinion expressed by his subjects. In conformity with the 
written Oath of Restoration of Meiji, and also with the Imperial Edict of 
April, 1875, we beg that official arbitrariness be corrected, that public opinion 
be known by the establishment of a National Assembly; and thus may the 
prosperity of our Imperial House, the safety of our country, and the peace and 
happiness of our people be secured. If this be fortunately accomplished, the 
insignificant souls of Ichiro and others would have fulfilled their desires, and 
so can sleep quietly in peace after death. 

Therefore, at the moment when we are resolved to die, looking up to 
Heaven and bowing down to Earth, we most sincerely express our humble 
opinions and accuse the officials of their crimes. Thus do we appeal to Im- 
perial decision as well as public opinion! We, Ichiro and others, can scarcely 
endure the emotion and love with which we are overwhelmed! 

With the greatest respect, 

May 14, 1878 

This manifesto shows the unquestionable sincerity of these assassins. 
Both the assassins and the assassinated were sincere patriots of the age; 
both martyrs for their cause. Until this time, even while Saigo's insur- 
rection was going on, the government censoring of newspapers was very 


liberal. After the assassination of Okubo, however, the government's 
attitude was suddenly changed, and its supervision upon public discus- 
sions became extremely rigid; hundreds of papers were suspended their 
publications, and journalists were severely punished. The trend of 
the age was too powerful, however, to be checked by any temporary 
measure, and the demand for the newspaper was rapidly increased by 
the people who were more thirsty for public discussions than before. 

Due to the lack of correct information, both the internal and external 
situations had been misunderstood by the masses. An organ for public 
discussion had not yet been provided. Conflicts of interests and opinions 
had given rise to frequent insurrections and assassinations. Then came 
the national unification period. The state, which had been greatly 
disorganized by so many rapid changes, was now finally consolidated 
and the administrative power at last centralized in the new imperial 
government. Newspapers often incited trouble, but more often con- 
tributed to the unified control of the country by bringing the people 
as a whole to a better mutual understanding. 




It is a remarkable fact that as soon as the Shogunate regime had 
been abolished, there appeared, in less than one year, ten official gazettes 
and fifteen private newspapers. After a decade the number of news- 
papers reached nearly three hundred with a yearly circulation of 38,000,- 
000 copies. Both the authorities and the people realized the importance 
of being weU informed on official actions by means of official gazettes. 
The newspaper at once became a very important factor in political 
affairs of New Japan, and, although the quality of the papers at that 
time was poor and the circulation insignificant, they were already the 
most influential means of communication in organizing public opinion. 

At the beginning of the Meiji Era the retainers of Tokugawa's vas- 
sals in Eastern Japan hated the clans in power. The radicals who had 
become fascinated with the novelty of the natural-rights doctrine; the 
conservatives against the sudden change; the persons discontented 
with the dominance of a few clans in politics; adventurers, and other 
excitable persons, all grouped together against the new government. 
They availed themselves of the mighty weapon of the printing press, 
which had heretofore been unknown in this country, and their attacks 
upon the new government and its officials became violent. About this 
time civil wars began in Northern Japan between the Imperial Army 
and Tokugawa's adherents, and people were anxious to know about 
its development. Having been stimulated by this unusual demand, 
private newspapers made rapid development. Among all newspapers 
of those days the Naigai Shimbun, the MoMogusa, and the Koko Shim- 
bun were the most prominent. 

Although the number of newspapers had increased very rapidly 
during the first few years of New Japan, their contents were not brilliant, 



and the general public did not pay much respect to journalists. In 
1872, however, Marquis Inouye and Baron Shibusawa published an 
article on the national finances; and the next year Count Soyejima, 
Count Itagaki, Count Goto, and other prominent statesmen published 
their joint memorials, which they had addressed to the government 
asking for a prompt establishment of a national assembly. People 
then began to pay more attention to the newspapers. Ochi Fukuchi, 
on his return from Europe, resigned his official position and joined the 
Tokyo Nichi-nichi (Tokyo Daily Press). There he adopted the system 
of Western journalism, and by signed editorials discussed current prob- 
lems. Other papers soon followed this method, and a large number of 
well-educated and ambitious youths gathered on the editorial staffs 
of newspapers, many of them distinguishing themselves as leaders of 
public opinion. 

The Koko Shimbun was published by Ochi Fukuchi. During his 
stay in London he was inspired by the London papers, and imme- 
diately upon his return he tried to establish a newspaper. In his work 
Kai-o Jidan (Reminiscence) he says; 

About May, 1868, newspapers suddenly appeared in Tokyo 

As it was a time of internal disorder, ther was no need to obtain official per- 
mission, and each person published his paper as he wished, I was very glad 
to see this; and as I thought it was a good opportunity for me to put my 
political opinions before the public, I secretly consulted Dembei Jono, Kosuke 
Hiro-oka, and Sensuke Hishida, and in the early part of that year published 
a newspaper by the name of Koko Shimbun. Since we did not have movable 
types as .we do now, we had to engrave on wood blocks ourselves, and hand- 
print the paper from them. This newspaper was in size one-half of Hanshi 
(about 6X9>), and it contained from ten to twelve pages each issue. It was, 
therefore, nothing but a sort of up-to-date magazine. It had general news, 
contributed articles, and editorials on current topics. All the manuscripts were 
written by my hand, and even the block copies were often made by me. Usually 
it was issued every three or four days, and among the large number of papers 
of that time my Koko Shimbun was said to have had the largest circulation, 
it having attracted public attention. Although there is no copy of them in 
my library now, someone may still keep them. I advise people to read them 
if they want to know what my ideas were in those days. The principle on 


which I wrote the articles was: Primarily I have no objection to imperialism 
whatsoever, nor am I against the Shogun's restoration of political power to 
the Emperor. But when I observe the real political situation, 1 see the reign not 
restored to the Imperial Hands but taken over by the Satsuma and the Choshu 
Clans. This is simply the creation of a second and new feudal government 
under the control of Sat-Cho Clans in place of the fallen Tokugawa Clan. 
Such is not only absolutely against my own expectation, but also against the 
spirit of the Restoration. 

Such having been the principle I had sustained; I opposed the admin- 
istration systematically. Furthermore, the paper published many articles 
contributed by the deserted soldiers of Tokugawa's adherents. They often 
glorified the victorious reports of rebel forces, and some of them wrote even 
false reports of the war as well as of the political situation. 1 

The fact that the Koko Shimbun had glorified the victories of the 
rebel troops and published the false reports which were favorable to 
them soon attracted the attention of the government, and the editor, 
FukucH, was arrested and imprisoned on May 18, 1868. Fortunately 
he had many friends among the officials of the government, and through 
their efforts he was released at the beginning of June. His newspaper 
establishment, however, was condemned, the blocks burned, and further 
publication forbidden. This was the first imprisonment of a journalist 
and the first prohibition of a newspaper publication under the new 
regime of Meiji. This was followed by the prosecution of many other 
sympathetic newspapers by the government. 

The following are synopses of editorials which fell under the ban of 

K. Kato of the Fusai Shimbun made a violent attack against the new 
national laws, and proclaimed that, if unavoidable, he would follow the ex- 
ample of the prominent American, Patrick Henry. He further said that he 
wished to start a rebellion as the thirteen states of North America did against 
England, and that he hoped gradually to establish a republican form of govern- 
ment in Japan. On January 20, 1876, he was convicted under the new press 
law, and was imprisoned for three years. 

S. Seki of the Osaka Nippo advocated the natural-rights theory too en- 
thusiastically, and was imprisoned for a year and a half. 

1 Genichiro FukucM, Kai-o Jid&n, pp. 198-200. 


T. Nakajima of the Fusai Shimbun wrote an article proclaiming: "Our 
government is tyranny and our authorities are brutal; therefore we must 
destroy this government and punish the officials with death." He was sen- 
tenced to be imprisoned for two months with a fine of twenty yen, 

S. Umagoshi of the So mo Zasshi instigated the revolution and was im- 
prisoned for three months, while S. Higo of the Chokai Shimpo wrote an article 
asserting "Liberty must be earned with blood," and was sent to prison for a 
year and a half. 

S. Tanaka of the Bummel Shinsha was imprisoned for fifty days because 
he had instigated assassination in an editorial entitled "Assassination in 

R. Kamiyo of the Tokyo Kinji-Shimpo was sentenced to one year's im- 
prisonment and a fine of five yen, because he had published an article justifying 
political offenses. 

S. Okui of the Heian Shimbun wrote that tyrannical government must 
be at once destroyed, and the might of liberty must be cultivated. He was 
sentenced to be imprisoned for five months. 

S. Kimura of the Tokyo Shinji-Shimbun incited the assassination of gov- 
ernment authorities in an article entitled "An Essay on Inevitability" (Yamuo- 
Ezaru-no Ron) , and was punished by imprisonment for two months and a fine 
of 30 yen. 

J. Ikki of the Tai-et, Shimbun published an article with the purpose of 
inciting a revolution, and also one in which he said, "It is no longer endurable 
for us to see that the savage Englishmen are trying to make our Japanese 
Empire her disgraceful dependency," etc. He was imprisoned for one year. 

U. Matsudaira of the Osaka Shimpo, S. Matsui of the Osaka Nippo, and 
K. Akamatsu of the Kyoto Nichi-nichi were severely punished because they 
slandered the Crown Prince of Germany (ex-Kaiser Wilhelm), accusing him 
of misconduct during one of his hunting trips. 

S. Nagata of the Tokyo Akebono-Shimbun was sentenced to prison for 
two years and fined 100 yen, because he wrote an article entitled "The Spirit 
of Self-Respect in a Nation" in which he said, "Monarchs, premiers, and all 
other dignitaries are nothing but tools created for the purpose of protecting 
the great mass of people. Emperor Jirnmu (the first emperor of Japan) 
was in the beginning nothing but a son of one of the large clans in the Province 
of Hyuga," etc. 

M. Sakumoto of the Keihan Maimcki-SMmbun was committed to prison 
for 30 days, because he wrote an article stating that the privy council's 


gate-guards are a strong bulwark to check the intrusion of the petitioners for 
the establishment of a National Assembly. 

Iwakura, Okubo, and other officials were, at this time, making a 
great effort to concentrate power in the central government, in order, 
if possible, to unify the divergent interests of political factions. Politi- 
cians out of office, especially those who had opposed Iwakura and Okubo 
in the Korean affair, considered this policy of the administration a sign 
of despotism, and determined to oppose it. 

About this time Nobuo Komuro and Uro Furuzawa returned from 
Europe with the advice that Japan adopt the representative form of 
government, which they said was so successful in many Western states. 
This suggestion was accepted. In January, 1874, a memorial was 
addressed to the Privy Council requesting the establishment of a 
representative form of government. This memorial was signed by 
eight prominent statesmen Soyejima, Goto, Itagaki, etc. and was as 

We respectfully consider that the political power of the state at present 
is neither vested in the Imperial House nor in the people's hands, but simply 
in government authorities. We do not insist that the authorities disregard 
the Imperial House, but its prestige is gradually diminishing. We do not assert 
that our officials neglect the protection of the people; but the laws change 
too frequently, justice is influenced by private circumstances, and praise and 
punishment are based on sentiment. There are no means provided for the 
public to express their opinions and complaints about these unsatisfactory 

If such a situation should continue a child could foretell that the main- 
tenance of peaceful government is impossible. Should a change of- system 
be delayed, we fear the state would be hopelessly ruined. Consequently, 
patriotism compels us to consider some measure to save the nation ffom im- 
pending disaster: we have now reached the conclusion that there is no better 
way to reach that end than to encourage public discussions. The best means 
for such a government is to establish a National Assembly. Then the power 
vested in. the hands of officials will be properly supervised and limited, and 
the people, from the top to the bottom, will enjoy an equality of peace and 
happiness. We dare to say that it is a universally accepted principle that 
taxpayers are entitled to representatives in the government 


The Nisshin Shinji-shi published this memorial January 18, 1874. 
Other newspapers also advocated in their editorials the prompt estab- 
lishment of a national assembly. 

The government then quieted the voices of the discontented with the 
establishment of a Senate for legislation and a Supreme Court as the 
highest judicial body of the state. It also convoked a great meeting 
of all local governors and other influential officials for discussion of local 
and national politics. To this end the following imperial edict was 
issued on April 14, 1875: 

Immediately after my accession to the Throne, I gathered my officials 
before me, made an oath of five articles, and sought for measures to secure 
protection for all subjects by establishing a national policy. Fortunately /by 
the protection of Our Ancestral Spirits and by the efforts of all my officials, 
we have been enabled to enjoy the present peace and prosperity. 

Still, only a short time has elapsed since the day of the Restoration, and 
I believe there are many things to be improved and developed in our internal 
policies today. Therefore, extending the spirit of my Written Oath, I hereby 
establish the Senate, and expand the source of our legislation; providing a 
Supreme Court, strengthening the power of justice; and, by convening local 
officials, trying to understand the conditions of the people, and hoping to 
promote the public welfare. Thus gradually establishing a constitutional form 
of government, I wish to share its benefit with my subjects. 

You, my subjects, neither adhering blindly to things of the past nor 
hurrying imprudently to a radical change, support my regime with a clear 
understanding of the spirit of my order. 

This was the second step toward the development of a constitutional 
form of government, the first having been the -Charter Oath of Five 

In the earlier days the majority of the people knew little of the world- 
situation: and public opinion was more easily controlled by "jingoes" 
and zealots than by intelligent and rational thinkers. An abuse of the 
printing press was therefore a dangerous thing. According to the 
imperial edict of April 14, the central government convoked a great 
meeting of prefectural authorities, and certain of the people's delegates 
from each prefecture as ^eU as journalists attended the meeting. All 


large newspapers sent delegates and the proceedings of each meeting 
were published. Soon the political discussions on newspapers grew 
so violent that the authorities became alarmed. In great haste the 
press law was revised and a new libel law was promulgated in July of 
that year. 

The^e two laws were a great blow to the newspapers. All editorials 
were censored rigidly. Consequently many newspapers published 
merely news, while several others became reckless and began to attack 
the government more violently. Especially, Tetcho Suehiro, the editor 
of the Cho-ya, attacked the arbitrariness of the new press law, where- 
upon he was sentenced to prison for two months and to pay a fine of 
20 yen. This was the first punishment inflicted under the revised press 
law. But, since the so-called imprisonment of the journalists at that 
time was simply a confinement at their own homes, the writing con- 
tinued more spiritedly than ever. Soon a peculiar situation arose. 
There was "hardly an editor left unpunished. The authorities became 
alarmed, and in 1876 changed the home confinement to penitentiary 
sentence. In many cases chief editors were first imprisoned, then the 
temporary chief editors, and finally when not one of the staff writers 
was left behind in the office, business was naturally suspended. 

About 1875 the eighteenth-century natural-rights philosophy and 
English utilitarianism began to interest the young educated class. 
Radical opinions based on the half-digested Western philosophy of 
individualism appeared in the newspapers and attracted the attention 
of the government. Consequently, in June, 1876, the press law was 
revised and a new libel act promulgated which increased the prosecu- 
tion of journalists. The radical attitude of the newspaper editorials 
grew even stronger. Examples are presented below: 

(Article by Naoji Fukai) 

When Heaven created the people, it made them all equal, and gifted them 
with an inalieaable right to freedom. The end of human life is to enjoy this 
natural freedom to the utmost and to attain supreme happiness. But, when 
society is but poorly developed and civilization &ud morality are not yet 


advanced, it is inevitable that many atrocities are committed by rascals and 
that the strong and vicious oppress the weak and tender members of society 
and keep from them their natural liberty. 

Consequently, there must voluntarily come into being a presiding power 
to restrain the strong and to punish the violent. This is the reason why a 
government comes into existence in human society. Therefore the funda- 
mental duty of a government is to protect all people, and let them attain their 
natural liberty and enjoy supreme happiness. There have been governments, 
however, which have consistently tried to increase their power by making 
severe laws, and restricting even the freedom of speech and activities of the 
people, and flooding the field of human happiness with calamities. This is 
indeed a violation of the fundamental principles upon which a government is 
built, and is a tyranny which scorns the most important duty of government. 
Neither men nor gods would ever sanction it! 

However, if people unfortunately happen to live under such government, 
they must arouse all their innate power of resistance and restore their natural 
liberty. In the course of such restoration of freedom, it might become neces- 
sary to overthrow the existing tyranny and establish in its place a new free 
government. We find in the Declaration of Independence of America such 
words: "It is also the duty of the people to establish a free government by 
overthrowing the one which hinders the safety and happiness of the people." 
The Manifesto of the French Revolution also said: "A tyrannical government 
which deprives the people of their freedom must be overthrown, and to do so 
is the most important duty of the people." Consequently any people, who 
live submissively and obediently under a government which usurps their power 
and endangers their liberty and happiness and who do not dare to strive for 
their natural freedom, are indeed sinners before Heaven. There is no greater 
neglect of human duty than that. 

Now our Japanese government has gradually given" up its time-honored 
despotism; and by giving the people the rights of freedom and of independ- 
ence, it has tried to secure them safety and happiness. But, in the future, 
should there be any despot, we could hardly say that we had fulfilled our duty 
as subjects of a state by simply obeying his commands. 

Therefore^ we, the subjects of Japan, must make a study beforehand of 
what constitutes such duties and obligations of the people. It is for this 
purpose that we write these articles and present them for public consideration, 
we will be considered fools or not, we do not know. 1 

1 Gaikotsu Miyatake, Shikka Shi, pp. 113-14. 


Although the subject-matter of the foregoing article is apparently 
theoretical, its obvious intention was to instigate an anti-government 
sentiment in the people. 


Spencer, an Englishman, once said: "There is no better way of changing 
a political condition than to first peacefully change the public mind through 
arguments and then realize the political and legal changes as its natural con- 
sequences. The overthrowing of a government is never a blessing. Revolu- 
tion is caused by temporary violent excitement of the masses, but it is not 
the result of deliberation. Under a tyrannical government, which suppresses 
and maltreats its people by making bad laws and unnecessary restrictions, 
the public becomes irritated. When, such oppression grows intolerable, the 
accumulated fury explodes and overturns the government by violence. Thus 
a revolution is originally aimed at the establishment of a good government 
according to the wishes of the people; but as it progresses amidst rages and 
furies, the ensuing new government is but a product of the confused mob- 
mind. Consequently a revolution can never be a blessing to a state. The 
healthiest method of reconstruction is to control the radical temperament, 
endure the unendurable, and to work steadily toward a gradual change. The 
English people are gifted with the virtue of patience and endurance; and it is 
because they have attained their liberty gradually without resorting to blood 
and iron that they have succeeded in, their present glory as a foremost world- 
power.' Ji 

I do not doubt there is some validity in this argument of Spencer. A 
revolution, is an unavoidable circumstance, and, of course, we cannot say it is 
a perfectly desirable measure. But, in case tyrants suppress and abuse people 
by usurping their power, and no arguments nor public opinion have any effect 
upon their atrocious attitude, what can be done with them? Shall the whole 
nation be sacrificed for the benefit of a few despotic authorities, or shall the 
latter be sacrificed for the sake of the former? Even a child would not hesitate 
to give a reply in this fashion: 

"In such a case, the tyrants must be sacrificed as a natural punishment 
of Heaven upon, them. Why should we neglect the welfare of the people for 
the sake of a few despots? " 

1 THs is not the exact quotation of Spencer's original statement, but is my trans- 
lation from the Japanese text. 


At present, oujr Japanese government is a good government, and its officials 
are all wise and gifted men. At this epoch of the untroubled administration, 
we merely wish to discuss with the public the problem of how we should behave 
in case darker days should come upon us. May the authorities well appreciate 
our intention! 1 

Komatsubara, the author of this article, was tried, convicted, and 
sentenced to prison for two years, January 29, 1877. It is interesting 
to know that he later distinguished himself as a statesman and once 
became the State Minister for Education, 


Heaven has bestowed us with freedom. Consequently if there are people 
who would not dare struggle to extend their freedom when they are bound by 
artificial barriers, they must be called sinners before God. It is a people's 
duty to overthrow a tyrannical government by raising the standard of liberty, 
sounding the drums of freedom, and casting a new free government according 
to the will of the people. 

There are some who blame America's opposition against the English 
government in obtaining real freedom, because they fought with the state of 
their fathers for that purpose. This is simply an idea of hopelessly servile 
people. To our mind, on the contrary, we admire them for discharging their 
duty to God. We must remember that true liberty grows only out of blood 
and death, not from empty table discussions. If America had depended on 
argumentations instead of armed resistance against the English, would they 
have attained the liberty which they are still enjoying on earth today? People 
must pay for liberty with hundreds of precious lives. 

Our arguments here indicate the natural duty of the people to oppose a 
government in case it oppresses people tyrannically but by no means do we 
mean to overturn our own free government. Please do not misunderstand 
this point! But, suppose, hundreds of years from now our Japanese govern- 
ment should happen to be as tyrannical as England once was to America, then 
it would become our natural duty to overthrow it. Be brave, then, Brethren, 
and do not spoil our inalienable natural right to freedom! 2 

The author Yamawaki was punished by one year's imprisonment 
on January 29, 1877. 

i Gaikotsu Miyatake, SMkka Shi, pp. 1 15-16. 2 Ibid. 




(By Tetcho Suehiro) 

I am so humble and straightforward that I can hardly get along in this 
world. But, as I fortunately live in the civilized community with pen and ink 
in my hand, whenever interesting events concerning our society reach me, 
I cannot help arguing each and every one of them with the desire to benefit 
the national civilization to some extent; and, if by doing so I should be criti- 
cized by the public, I would not complain. 

When our government had promulgated the Press Law and Libel Act, I 
thought that they could not stand in harmony with the principle of freedom 
of discussion, which we had always advocated, and that such is not the way 
to cultivate a progressive spirit nor bring to the people a higher culture. 
Consequently, regardless of my personal welfare, I became an advocate of the 
doctrine of freedom of discussion; and, hoping to present something worth 
while for the consideration of our wise Ministers of the Cabinet, I printed every 
day in the newspaper articles concerning the new laws, and also published 
any contributed articles which discussed the problem. In spite of the rigid 
laws which might terrorize anyone, we gathered our courage together and 
published sharp attacks every day. Seeing this, some people jeered at us as 
insane; and after a few months, just as I had anticipated, I was prosecuted 
by the authority, and was condemned to both fine and imprisonment. 

Among the journalists of Tokyo, there are many who have met with 
similar misfortunes on account of their writings; but I was the pioneer of them 
all and the punishment was severest with me. When I thought that my nature 
being so unconventionally stupid I could not live harmoniously among con- 
ventional politics and had brought upon me- the violent wrath of our State 

Ministers, I had only to grieve and sigh myself in vain When I was 

imprisoned in a small cell, it was early in July, and the temperature was so 
high that I felt as if it were burning there. But all sides were tightly closed 
keeping out any draft, the floor was damp, and the room was so dark that in 
the mid-day I heard many mosquitoes buzzing around me and a lamp had 
to be lighted early in the afternoon. . , . As I considered the past and 
present, I thought of a large number of people who had been condemned by 
their Lords and Ministers and were suffering great distress. Some of them 
were kept imprisoned for life, and others were executed. Now I have escaped 
execution by the greatest grace of our government, and suffered only two 
months^ imprisonment. But in this civilized world in which I might safely 


have enjoyed the greatest happiness of a quiet life, I had misled my body of 
six feet through a little stick of pen. Looking up and down I deeply sighed 
and bitterly cried in the prison cell whenever I thought of my aged parents 
whom I left at home seven hundred miles away, and my tears wet my clothing. 
.... Subsequently, all my intimate friends wrote letters and advised me not 

to re-enter the newspaper office 

But, I know that when a humble but sincere person once determines his 
will, no threatenings can change his course, and that the advancement of 
civilization and welfare of a state are but the reflection of its people's cour- 
ageous determination and the execution of their unconquerable will. If we 
are discouraged J>y a temporary set-back, we would never be able to turn the 
fortune of society and lead the nation toward a better life. Although I am 
only a humble and unworthy person, at the time when I gave up my heredi- 
tary pension of samurai and undertook journalism, I already had a lofty ideal 
and desire to make it my duty to advocate freedom of discussion. If this 
ambition is not fulfilled and I expire wandering in a desert, and my skeleton 
buried under the wild grasses, I would be perfectly contented with such a fate. 
Why should I change my once determined course because of one failure ? l 


If wicked Ministers and vulgar officials take advantage of their power, 
and abuse the people by making tyrannical rules and collecting too heavy 
taxes; and if men of high ideals, anxious for national welfare and representing 
the will of the people, frankly discuss the merits and demerits of the govern- 
ment's policies and the official practices, and are restricted from discussion 
by means of severe punishments; then the very independence of the nation 
is at stake! If such government is not promptly overturned, there will be no 
other way than to wait for the decay of the state as a whole. 

At this time of national crisis, why should the subjects of such a state 
remain in subjugation to the tyrannical government longer? What should 
they do then? My reply is " Just test the sharpness or dullness of the people's 
swords on the necks of those dishonest Ministers and vulgar officials!" 

This suggestion is not for today's use, you remember, but is for your 
future reference! 

Yokose was imprisoned for three months for this article, and was 
fined 50 yen, on January 29, 1877. 

1 Tetcha Bunshu, pp. 1-6; Koko Shimbun, editorial, October 27, 1876. 



During the first decade of the Meiji Era there was considerable devel- 
opment in public education and means of communication. Illiteracy 
had decreased, and the demand for printed matter was greatly increased. 
From 1872 to 1882 the number of ships quadrupled, railways were 
extended, and the postal system was nearly perfected. Printing was 
making rapid progress with movable lead types. The country at large 
was becoming conscious of its political life. Moreover, the political 
atmosphere of the country had completely changed since Saigo's civil 
war. Anti-governmental factions had turned their attention from meth- 
ods of force to their new weapon of public discussion. 

About this time the works of Bentham, Mill, Spencer, and Rousseau 
and histories of the French and American revolutions were being read 
by a few well-educated people. From 1877 on, political narratives based 
on revolutionary philosophy made their appearance in newspapers. The 
Illustrated Liberty (Eire Jiyu) and the Light of Liberty (Jiyu-no Tomo- 
shibf) published serial stories of the fall of the Roman Empire, the French 
Revolution, and the independence of America, translated from Western 
novels. Young people were fascinated with these stories, and the circu- 
lation of newspapers increased considerably. 

These pseudo-revolutionists, of course, did not understand the real 
significance of Western philosophy, but were simply fascinated with its 
novelty. An agitation for the establishment of a national assembly was 
started. Among the prominent journalists of that time, Fukuchi and 
Suematsu thought Japan not yet ready for such a form of government. 
Oi and Suehiro, on the contrary, emphatically advocated immediate 
establishment of a national assembly. Other journalists supported them. 1 


There may have been a few instances in which my discussion had affected 
political affairs to a certain extent. For instance, there is an interesting 

1 Yukichi Fukusawa, Fukti-o-Jiden, pp. 520-23. Fukuzawa was one of the 
foremost educators in New Japan and the founder of Keio University and the Jiji 
Shimpo. Thousands of young men under his tutelage distinguished themselves later 
as prominent statesmen, journalists, and business men. 


incident which very few people have known so far. In 1878, after the Kago- 
shima rebellion, when people became rather tired of the profound peace and 
monotonous tranquillity, a novel idea came to my mind incidentally; i.e. 
if I discuss the problem of a National Assembly, some people may respond to 
it, and it will be very interesting. 

So I wrote that article, and as there was no Jiji SMmpo at that time, I 
showed a copy to Mokichi Fujita and Katsundo Minoura, the editors of the 
Hochi Shimbun, and told them, "If you care to publish this article on your 
editorial page, you may do so, for I believe people will certainly be interested. 
But, in order to conceal the identity of Fukuzawa's authorship, you shall 
change the peculiarities of my literary style before you publish it. Will it 
not be interesting to watch how the public will react on this article? " 

Since both of them were young and progressive men, they took my copy 
with great delight and immediately published it in the editorial section of the 
Hochi Shimbun. At that time, as the desire for a National Assembly was still 
small, it was absolutely impossible to predict whether it would really appeal 
to popular feeling or receive no response. For about a week it appeared every 
day as a serial article on the editorial page; and with the revision of Fujita 
and Minoura, it was written in such a way as to arouse the fellow-journalists 
of Tokyo. 

Then, after a few months, the Tokyo papers, and even the country papers, 
began to discuss this subject with enthusiasm; until finally the whole nation 
became interested. Delegates after delegates came to Tokyo from all parts 
of the country to file petitions to the government requesting the establishment 
of a National Assembly. It was very interesting to watch it. But when I 
considered that casual political discussion instigated through mere curiosity 
had unexpectedly produced a tumult so great that it had become almost 
uncontrollable, it seemed to me as if I had implicated myself as inevitably as 
though I had set fire to the dried grass of an autumn field in which I was 
standing, and I began to feel a terror 



(By Tetcho Suehiro) 

I have been so worried recently that I have lost my appetite and have 
not been able to rest well at night. Why is it? It is because I observe that 
many people in the city are boisterously rebelling against the administration 
of our authorities and reviling their conduct. We, of course, believe that these 


boisterous people are the ignorant, petty citizens and the discontented military 
class, and that what they talk about does not at all affect the reputation of 
our government. 

But, when such criticisms are transmitted from person to person and 
spread widely until millions of people are discussing it, then, even if those 
arguments be entirely wrong and unfounded, I fear that, after all, the national 
opinion will be affected. Do the authorities of our government understand 
that there are a great number of these ignorant people in our country now? 
We also fear that, occupied with their official functions, our high dignitaries 
may not have opportunity to hear what the people on the streets are talking 
about. Intelligent officials should be aware of all the activities of society. 
How can they overlook this talk as mere gossip of ignorant people? We also 
wish to modestly suggest that our high officials have few opportunities to come 
in contact as we do with these people who are so boisteriously discussing the 

Moreover when we hear the denunciations of these ignorant people, we 
are bound to think that there may be some intelligent persons who are sin- 
cerely and deliberately discussing the political situation of our government and 
the conduct of our authorities. If they begin to discuss these matters and 
take violent action, although there will probably be no more civil war, we can 
hardly say that our country is at peace. Even though there is no impending 
danger of rebellion, is it not the duty of our authorities to govern the people 
in such a way as to secure happiness and real peace for them? It is therefore 
imperative that our government encourage public discussion, and by bowing 
to public opinion stop the latent disapproval of the people at once. Therefore, 
what we need most urgently today is merely the establishment of a National 
Assembly, which the public have wanted for a long time. If not in a National 
Assembly, where can we seek for fair public discussions in order to comply 
with the demand of public opinion? . . . - 1 

Soon the agitation spread all over the country, and great mass meet- 
ings were held everywhere. Petitions signed by large numbers of people 
flooded the office of the Senate. A petition to the Emperor, signed by 
more than 87,000 people representing two urban prefectures and twenty- 
two prefectures, was presented to the Privy Council by K. Kataoka and 
H. Kono, delegates of the Patriotic League (Aikoku Sha)> in March, 
' 1880. This petition, however, was not accepted by the Council. There- 

1 Editorial, Koko Shimbw, October 28, 1876; Tetcho Bunshu, pp. 7-10. 


upon it was presented to the Senate, and was again turned away. 
K. Matsumoto and G. Kami jo, representing 21,500 people of Matsu- 
moto in the Nagano Prefecture, asked the ministers and state council- 
ors for an interview. This was refused. 

On October 9, 1880, the government issued a proclamation to the 
effect that, although no memorials nor petitions which were presented to 
the Throne would be accepted, the people might address memorials to 
the government. Thousands of memorials came to the Senate, but 
obtained no response. 

Seeing the growing danger of political agitations, in April, 1880, the 
government promulgated the Public Meeting Regulation, which provided 
that all political meetings should obtain a police permit three days before 
the meeting. It also required the government's permission for organiz- 
ing political associations, and prohibited soldiers, policemen, and stu- 
dents from being in the audience when political speeches were made. 
The law also forbade communication between political organizations. 

Marquis Okuma, a state councilor, not being a man of Sat-Cho clans, 
had sympathized with the popular demands, and advocated the estab- 
lishment of a national assembly. When the Minister-of-the-Left, 
Prince Taruhito, secretly interviewed him as to the best method of 
pacifying the people, Okuma replied that nothing but the establishment 
of a, representative form of government would satisfy them. He then 
presented a scheme for a constitutional farm of government drafted by 
him. When this became known, the members of the Cabinet were 
furious at Okuma, but they were at last forced to announce that a 
national assembly should be established in the near future. Thus, Octo- 
ber 11, 1881, on the return of the Emperor from his visit to Northern 
Japan, the government issued an imperial edict proclaiming that a 
national assembly/ would be established in 1890. On the night of that 
same day, however, Okuma was forced to resign his state councilorship 
at the request of the Cabinet. His sympathizers became indignant, and 
in the succeeding two days a large number of capable young officials 
resigned their posts. There was the greatest sweeping change of high 
officials since the great conflict of opinions on the Korean incident 
of 1873. 


The rise of political parties in Japan, contrary to the party history 
of many other countries, preceded both the promulgation of a constitu- 
tion and the establishment of the National Assembly. Since communi- 
cation and co-operation between different political organizations were 
forbidden by the law of April, 1880, numerous political associations 
hitherto existing were dissolved and consolidated into one large organi- 
zation called the Patriotic Association (Aikoku-Koi), which soon changed 
its name to Dai-Nippon Kokkai Kisei Yushi-kai (The League for Insuring 
the Establishment of a National Assembly of Great Japan). From this 
association the Liberal party (JiyitJd), the first political party in Japan, 
was organized by Count Itagaki in November, 1880. On March 16, 
1882, the followers of Marquis Okuma organized the Constitutional 
Progressive party (Rikken Kaishin-to) with Okuma as its president. 
Both the Liberals and the Progressives were anti-government parties. 
They used three influential organs the Keihin Mainichi, the Choya, 
and the Hochi. To oppose these two parties, the Constitutional Imperi- 
alist party (Rikken Teikoku-to) was organized on March 18, 1882, by 
sympathizers of the administration. The Tokyo Nichi-nichi, the Meiji 
NippOj and the Tokyo Shimpo, published by Gen-ichiroJFukuchi, Sakura 
Maruyama, and Torajiro Mizuno, were its semi-government organs. 
Political parties and their organs thus appeared for the first time in the 
political history of Japan. 

The Liberal party consisted of a large number of extreme radicals 
and political malcontents, many of whom were blind advocates of the 
natural-rights philosophy and insisted on the sovereignty of the people. 
Their plan for a national assembly was based on the unicameral system, 
and in general they Inclined to adopt the political system of France. 
On the contrary, the Progressives took their model from England and 
advocated a gradual and systematic progress. They favored the bicam- 
eral system of a national assembly. Different from these two was 
the Imperialist party whose principles were more general, although 
more or less like the German benevolent despotism. It announced 
its intention to support the government, but its influence was too 
weak and it was soon dissolved, leaving only its organ to carry on 
its ideas. 


Some of the extreme radicals of the Jiyu-to detested the exist- 
ing government, and attempted to overthrow it. The leaders of 
the plots were punished on the ground of mustering bandits and 
plotting insurrection. On the return of its leader, Itagaki, from his 
observation trip to the Western countries, in June, 1884, the Jiyu-to 
continued on a milder basis with a smaller number of more orderly 

The present system of cabinet government was first established by 
the Imperial Edict of December, 1885, in place of the old Dajokan, 
which was the central office of the government until that time. Hiro- 
bumi Ito became the first premier, and the departments worked together 
smoothly until the problem of foreign- treaty revision arose. In the 
government draft of the treaty revision there was a term which permitted 
a certain number of foreign judges in the Imperial Courts of Justice in 
order to abolish the extra-territoriality of the foreign residents in Japan. 
Strong opposition first arose among the members of the Cabinet and then 
among other high officials and political parties. Those who opposed it 
considered it very humiliating. The newspapers of the country almost 
unanimously attacked it in the most violent terms, and mass meetings 
were held everywhere denouncing the policy of the government, Kaoru 
Inouye, the Foreign Minister, was at last obliged to resign, and the 
treaty revision was suspended. 

This blunder of the Ito Cabinet gave an opportunity for the rise of 
anti-government parties. In 1886 Zojiro Goto called a conference of 
the leading statesmen of all political parties, and explained the necessity 
of organizing a strong party. He said that by " giving up little differ- 
ences 7 ' and basing their common interests on the "great similarities" 
of their ultimate ends, lost national dignities would be recovered and the 
political situation improved. All those who attended the meeting were 
deeply moved by his eloquence, and a unanimous resolution was passed 
to organize a new party. It was called the "Daido Danketsu." Goto 
was elected its president, and the prominent members of the old Liberals, 
Progressives, as well as the Conservatives, and a large number of other 
influential statesmen who were discontented with the government, joined 
it. Political agitations by party men and newspapers then grew more 


violent; and mass meetings, presentations of memorials, and various 
other demonstrations against the government took place every day. 

As a suppressive measure against these political agitations the Min- 
ister of the Interior promulgated the Peace Preservation Regulation, 
December 25, 1887, which strictly restricted freedom of speech and pub- 
lication. Five hundred and seventy leading political agitators were 
banished from the capital In three days; and all those who protested or 
complained against this measure were immediately thrown into prison 
without trial. This terrorism could not solve the situation. It simply 
intensified the animosities and oppositions of the public. The govern- 
ment was greatly embarrassed, and on February 1, 1888, as a recon- 
ciliatory measure, Premier Ito offered Marquis Okuma, who had been 
removed from actual power since 1881, the portfolio of Foreign Minister. 
This was a most difficult role at that time because the treaty revision 
must be successfully managed, but he accepted with a firm determi 

In 1883 a special commission headed by Prince Ito was dispatched to 
investigate the constitutional systems of the leading Western states. 
The brilliancy of the German Empire at that time overshadowed all 
the rest of the states in his mind. While the Liberals were imitating 
the French and American ideas and the Progressives were admiring the 
English system at home, Ito decided to outdo both of them by adopting 
the Prussian bureaucracy. He was so deeply fascinated with things 
German that after his return he styled himself the Japanese Bismarck, 
and imitated every manner of Prince Bismarck, even to the style of his 
smoking cigars, it is said. 

Soon after Ito's return the new Imperial Constitution was drafted 
by a special bureau established for that purpose. There everything 
was .carried on in a secluded chamber by the special committee, with the 
occasional participation o^ the members of the imperial household and 
other high dignitaries. On February 11, 1889, the Imperial Constitu- 
tion was promulgated with great ceremony, and the nation went wild 
with joy. But, upon careful study, it was seen that too strong power 
was given the administrative department, and the security of the people's 
rights was far from satisfactory. The ultimate power to protect the 


people's rights was neither in the legislature nor in the judiciary, but 
was concentrated in the executive. As for an amendment to the Con- 
stitution, neither people nor Diet had the right to initiate it. It could 
be done only by the Imperial order submitted to the Diet, and further- 
more no discussion could be started unless two-thirds of the whole 
members of the Diet were present. Consequently, in a strict sense, 
there was no " safety-valve" against political outburst in the Japanese 

The strong attack of the public on the government policy as to the 
treaty revision was temporarily stopped by the new entries of Okuma and 
Goto, the two most popular statesmen, into the Cabinet. Thereupon 
Okuma, the new foreign minister, again opened negotiations with foreign 
states. The purpose of the treaty revision was to improve the hitherto 
unfavorable and humiliating terms of the earlier treaties; and it was 
one of the most important national problems to be solved at that time. 
Okuma took a firm stand in foreign policy, and the revision progressed 
from one state to another with fair success. This time the progress of 
the negotiations was known only to the members of the Cabinet, but on 
April 19, 1890, the contents of the new Anglo- Japanese treaty was cabled 
to Japan from the London Times. In this draft there was again a clause 
allowing a certain number of foreigners among the judges in the cases 
involving foreigners. This was the very point on which ,the government 
had had the bitterest opposition from the public. Therefore spirited 
arguments were started among the officials as well as the people; and 
the newspapers began to fight it. The Hochi, Ckoya, MainicM, and 
several other papers, which were sympathetic with the Kaishin-to, stood 
for the government policy, while Tokyo Koron, Town Shimbun, and 
Seiron, the organs of Daido Danketsu, and Nippon, the organ of the 
Conservative party, and most other papers in the country violently 
attacked the government. The publication of the anti-government 
papers was frequently suspended, but this only inspired more agitations. 
Great mass meetings were held by the advocates of both sides. One 
hundred and twenty memorials supporting the new treaty and one 
hundred and eighty-five against it were received by the Senate. Even 
in the official circle there were many backslidings, and Minister of 


Communication Goto, Minister of Agriculture and Commerce Inuoye, 
President of the Privy Council Ito, and many others resigned their posts 
in protest against the new treaties. The professors of the Imperial 
University stated their adverse opinion with joint signatures, and pre- 
sented it to the Minister of the Interior. On October 18, 1890, on his 
way to the Foreign Office, Marquis Okuma was attacked by an assassin. 
A bomb was thrown at his carriage, and his left leg was so severely 
injured that it had to be amputated. On the twenty-fourth of that 
month the whole Cabinet resigned, and the treaty revision was indefi- 
nitely suspended. 

The French revolutionary philosophy advocated by the Liberals, 
Anglo-American individualism represented by the Progressives, and the 
conservative nationalism of the German type maintained by the Im- 
perialists were the three dominant philosophies in the political discus- 
sions of those days. All the political factions freely exchanged their 
ideas and publicly battled for their beliefs. Whatever thoughts and 
interests might have been involved in these conflicts, their result was a 
gradual development of a more democratic form of political institutions. 
In this period the newspaper made a fair development. In 1887 there 
were 470 newspapers with 95,932,000 yearly circulation, an increase of 
more than twice in the decade succeeding Saigo's civil war of 1877, at 
which time the number of newspapers was 225 and their total yearly 
circulation 37,683,000. This shows at once an increase of the popula- 
tion participating in molding the public opinion of Japan. Now the 
political function of the printing press was not simply unifying and 
inciting the country as it had been in the earlier period. The press itself 
began to take part in governmental functions; that is to say, it became 
an extra-legal political institution. By offering information and criticism 
of national affairs, the newspapers prepared the way for the establish- 
ment of a constitutional form of government. All the political demon- 
strations and agitations so enthusiastically carried on at this period were 
but a reflection of the fact that the development of the means of com- 
munication had made it possible for the public to participate in the 
political struggle. 



The decade succeeding the establishment of the National Assembly 
was a most prosperous period for party organs* There were a few inde- 
pendent papers conducted on a commercial basis like the Tokyo Jiji, 
the Osaka Asahi, and the Osaka Mainichi. The principal financial re- 
sources of most newspapers, however, were subsidies of parties, contri- 
butions of political sympathizers, of which there were many. 


.... Under the revised Press Law, a large number of arrests were made 
every day. Imprisonment of prominent writers and suppression of publication 
of newspapers for a period from one to five weeks were frequent occurrences. 
The business management of newspapers of those days was very poor, the 
editorials were crude, and the size of paper much smaller than the present-day 
newspapers. But the journalists were ambitious and each one considered 
himself a "Minister without Portfolio." The business management was very 
different from the present system; and the staff members were not paid 
according to their abilities but rather on the basis of the amount necessary for 
their actual subsistence. For instance, an unmarried person did not request 
more than the exact amount for his personal expenses however high his ability 
might be, while those who had families were paid in proportion to the number 
of persons to be taken care of. In other words, the newspaper office was a 
sort of political club of which the journalists were the members; and while 
some of the members were going around making political speeches, those who 
remained in the office wrote the articles. The expenses were made up by 
political sympathizers, and many excellent articles were contributed free of 
charge. When the staff members were imprisoned or fined, there always 
appeared some sympathizers who paid the bonds and fines 

Consequently, the government considered journalism a strong enemy 
with most dangerous arms for the political battle; and it seemed as though 
the authorities even manifested a certain hatred toward the journalists. On 
the other hand, however, the sympathy of the public towards newspapers grew 
stronger every day. For some time, the newspapers attacked or advocated 
certain persons, groups, and movements according to their political signifi- 
cance; and the editorials were the authority of the public opinion, and directed 

1 Saburo SMmada is an ex-speaker of the House of Representatives and a leader 
of the Kenseikai party. 


the change of social and political situations. Therefore, all learned and 
ambitious youths of those days were anxious to become journalists, regardless 
of the small salaries. Their ambition was to be elected when the National 
Assembly opened later, and until that time to discuss their ideas and opinions 

freely in the newspapers Therefore, a large number of prominent 

statesmen and educators were produced from among the journalists of those 


Journalism was a citadel for political discussion, and there was no business 
significance in it. Editorials formed the main part of the papers, and news 
was lightly treated. But, as a political organ, the newspaper was the thing 
most coveted by a large number of ambitious youths; and its discussions were 
powerful enough to move the current national opinion to such an extent that 
the activities of the political parties, their rise and fall, and even the revision 
of foreign treaties were controlled to a great extent by newspapers l 

Editorial writers were highly respected. Ambitious young men 
tried to get elected to the National Assembly by writing signed articles 
in newspapers. The following narratives by Yukio Ozaki and Ki Inukai 
give a vivid account of the journalist's life in those days : 


Since about 1876, when I was fifteen years old, I have frequently con- 
tributed articles to the Akebono Shimbun under the pen-name "Shun-nan." 
.... About that time Great Saigo, whose pro-war advice was rejected in the 
Korean affair, retired to his home prefecture, and a dangerous atmosphere 
pervaded the southern part of Kiushu Island, constantly threatening the 
government. My editorial articles advocating a punishment to be inflicted 
upon Satsuma (Saigo's home prefecture) seemed to have attracted public 

I have a few anecdotes of the period while I was editor of the Niigata 
Shimbun. When our boat arrived at the City of Niigata, 3 it was dark, and 
several persons with lanterns in their hands were eagerly looking for somebody. 
One of them asked me very arrogantly, "What has happened to Professor 

1 Saburo Shimada, the Taikan, October, 1918, pp. 200-202. 

2 Yukio Ozaki was a former student of Fukuzawa, was several times State Minister, 
and is a popular political leader. 

3 Yukio Ozaki had accepted the editorship of the Niigata Shimbun, the largest 
paper in the Prefecture of Niigata. 


Ozaki?" When I replied that I was Ozaki, they looked at me curiously and 
welcomed me reluctantly. Later I was told that they had taken me for a 
student of Professor Ozaki, and that when I announced "I am Ozaki," they 
were extremely surprised, and were disappointed that they had engaged such 
a lad for their editor, and wondered how I, a mere boy, could manage the 
editorial staff. Soon, however, having found that my articles were very popu- 
lar, and that their circulation began to increase, their minds were eased. 1 

Once at a public banquet, in which the Prefectural Governor and other 
local dignitaries were present, I was shown the lowest seat. I became very 
indignant, and rebuked the Governor for his carelessness. Before I had left 
Tokyo, I had been instructed by Professor Fukuzawa as to the mission of a 
journalist, and I was very confident and looked upon myself as "a Minister 
without Portfolio." I strongly believed that it was the Governor's function 
to be the executive of the people, but the guidance of them by the expression 
of opinions and public discussions is the journalist's noble mission. Further- 
more, I had heard that in America the director of one of the large New York 
newspapers (Horace Greeley) had become a candidate for President of the 
United States, and I therefore had no fear nor awe for such petty officials as 
local governors. Nevertheless, my seat was set lower than those of the sub- 
ordinate officials, not to mention the Governor himself. I, a hot-blooded 
youth, could not bear to accept such "respect to the government and the 
contempt for the people " sort of treatment; and for the sake of the dignity of 
journalists in general upbraided the Governor harshly. His subordinate 
officials grew very indignant and started toward me in anger, but the Governor 
himself kept admirably calm and said to them, " He is a very interesting young 
man. Show him a higher seat ! " I was invited to a seat next to the Governor. 
I do not well remember that Governor's name now, but perhaps he was called 
Nagayama and was a good-natured old gentleman from the Satsuma Pre- 

As to the problem of seating arrangement, I have another anecdote. In 
the first session of the Prefectural Assembly of Niigata, I (as a reporter) 
determined to guide the Assembly myself, and setting my chair by the side of 
the Speaker's seat, I gave him imperative instructions. Since in my reports of 
Assembly news of those days were such comments as "This argument is 
indeed worthless," or "How surprisingly ridiculous this argument is!" and 
the like, those copies are said to be still preserved there as rare things. My 
manner of instructing the Speaker was also an extraordinary high-handed one. 

1 Ozaki was then only twenty years old. 


I would say to him, "Now stop the proceedings!" "Now dismiss the As- 
sembly!" etc. One day, the Speaker did not dismiss the Assembly as I had 
instructed him. I pronounced its dismissal to the Assembly myself, gave up 
my pen and immediately left the Assembly Hall. 1 


It was in 1875 that I became a contributor of newspaper articles. I was 
then a student in the Kei-o Gijiku, and supported myself by writing the 
editorials on the Hochi SMmbun, the "Great Newspaper " of that time. 

The standard of culture of the journalists of those days cannot be com- 
pared with that of the present-day journalists In 1879 I published for 

the first time a magazine Keizai Shimpo (Economic Journal) in which I per- 
sistently advocated protected trade. At the same time Ukichi Taguchi (the 
greatest economist in Japan at that time) was advocating free trade in his 
Keizai Zasshi (Economic Magazine), and we had great arguments with each 
other. Once the problem of monometallism and bimetallism became the 
point of our dispute. For reference, Taguchi had one copy of Money of the 
"International Series' 7 only, and using it as the whole source of his argument, 
he wrote very convincingly on monometallism. In despair I called on Giichi 
Wakayama, then the chief secretary of the Department of Agriculture and 
Commerce, and obtained several source books from him. He had just returned 
from America with his young American bride, and being a very studious person 
he had many rxew books and magazines in his possession. Subsequently my 
arguments became much stronger, and Taguchi at last surrendered. He con- 
cluded his final article with the words, "Since the writer of the Economic 
Journal has the backing of the Mitsui Corporation (one of the largest corpora- 
tions in Japan) and has obtained thousands of volumes of foreign books, his 
references are certainly varied." With this as an example of editorial articles 
of the "great learned men" you can imagine how crude and childish the rest 
of the editorials as well as the news articles seemed. 

The editorial writers of those days were just like the present-day scholars 
who simply confine their studies to theory. They never closely investigated 
the facts themselves, but merely wrote the articles with the rough materials 
brought in by reporters. Fumio Yamo once continued his serial article on a 
psychological problem for thirty days in the editorial section of the Hochi, and on 

1 Yukio Ozaki, the Taikan, October, 1918, pp. 210-12. 

2 Ki Inukai was a former student of Fukuzawa, as well as Ozaki, and is an ex- 
Minister, a member of the Diplomatic Council, and the leader of the Kokuminto party, 


another occasion his argument for the abolition of the rice stock-exchange 
continued again for over a month. It was neither a newspaper editorial nor a 
magazine article in character, moreover the subject-matter was very inferior. 

Most of the earlier-day journalists were the ronin (masterless samurai) 
who were remnants of the officials of the old feudal regime crushed by the 
Satsuma and Choshu clans, and deprived of both their political power and 
their pensions. Consequently they were almost always opposed to new govern- 
ment. They obtained more or less satisfaction by expressing their discontent 
through small newspapers. 

Having been the most learned people of the age, the high-class editorial 
writers were greatly respected by the public. The editors themselves believed 
that if they only succeeded in defeating the Satsuma and Choshu clans they 
would immediately become high officials, and therefore they surveyed the rest 
of the world with arrogance. For instance, when Ukichi Taguchi wrote some 
newspaper articles advocating the building of a port at Tokyo Bay, the busi- 
ness men of Yokohama became panic-stricken, fearing that their trade would 
be snatched away by the Tokyo people. Thereupon they sent for me, and 
after a very hospitable entertainment, they took me around the sea coast and 
asked my opinion as to the best place for the Pier. Even I, a young ex- 
student, was so respected by the public simply because of being an editorial 

Again, when Prince Iwakura, for the purpose of protecting the nobles' 
estates, had planned the construction of railways through Northeastern Japan, 
my advice was asked. I told him: "It is a splendid idea to protect the nobles' 
estates. But, since there are no freights to be shipped in that district at 
present, such a railroad cannot be successfully maintained even if it* is con- 
structed. Therefore I advise you to give Up this plan." 

There came a little different test, however, of my "great learning." One 
day, Eiji Asabuki, then the president of the Foreign Trading Corporation, said 
to me, "Mr. Okuma (Marquis) said the other day that he wished to see you 
sometime; and I advise you to call on him without fail." Thereupon I went 
to the office of the State Councilors, expecting to impress him with my cus- 
tomary "great learning." Unexpectedly, however, I found him very well 
informed on various subjects; and instead of instructing him I learned a great 
deal while I was there. On that occasion, the "highly learned man of the age" 
felt extremely small and retired completely dispirited. 

The journalists were respected irt this fashion, and all State Ministers and 
Councilors gladly made friendships with them whenever they were called upon. 


Consequently first-class journalists looked upon themselves as most respectable 
persons equal to the State Ministers, and therefore worthy of much respect. 

The circulation of newspapers of those days was very small. The Choya 
had a circulation of 12,000, the Yomiuri 10,000, and the Hochi 5,000. Never- 
theless the newspaper business seemed to be prosperous. When I became an 
editorial writer of the Hochi immediately after my graduation from college, I 
was paid 100 yen a month, which sounds small now but was equal to the 
salary of the Assistant Secretary of the State Department. I therefore rented 
a large residence with a yard of more than 2,000 tsubo (tsubo is about seven feet 
square) provided with beautiful artificial hills and springs; and hiring a 
rikisha-man and many servants, I lived luxuriously. 

The Hochi had only a circulation of 5,000 and the returns from advertise- 
ments were very small. Consequently I do not see how it could have made such 
a success. (See Shimada's narrative.) At any rate by translating foreign 
books and magazines and writing imperfectly digested economic articles, I, a 
young student, obtained 100 yen a month which was a large sum in those days. 

In the Hochi there were five or six other men who received also 100 yen 

In translating a foreign language, five yen was paid for one page of copy paper 
with ten lines and twenty words in each line. Cost of living was very low, 
and for this sum of five yen one koku (five bushels) of rice could have been 
purchased. Therefore if we wrote two pages of such translations a day, we 
could live a luxurious life. Besides the salary of the Hochi, I have received 
about 200 yen from magazines for my contributions. Two hundred yen of that 
time had the purchasing power of more than 1,000 yen of today. Compared 
with those early-day journalists, the present-day journalists are too poorly paid. 

I do not wish to emphasize the virtue of the journalists of the earlier days 
on purpose, but it is true that they were more dignified persons than the present- 
day journalists. Although, it depended somewhat on their natural gifts, this 
quality was due, to some extent, to the fact that they chose this profession with 
the principal purpose of opposing the political influence of the Sat-Cho Clans, 
and therefore had a definite aim. Moreover, as they were the " highly learned 
men" of the age, the public respected them, and they had self-respect also. 
They looked upon the government officials below the state councilors as their 
equals, and believed that they would be State Ministers themselves if only 
the opportunity should arrive. This was not merely due to their self-conceit, 
but a result of the favorable social situation of that time. 

Furthermore, due to the very liberal salaries they received they never 
worried about their daily life as the present-day journalists do. Consequently 


they did not need to flatter authorities, riches, or any one else, and did not pay 
much regard even to the command of their employers, because capable men 
were very few. At present, on the contrary, there is little security for the 
journalist's daily subsistence. The result is that very few capable men 
enter the journalistic profession, and those who do are often tempted to 

Such difference of character and qualities, however, applies only to edi- 
torial writers and other high-class journalists, and as to the common reporters 
and petty writers of general news there has been no difference at any time. 1 

On July 1, 1890, the first general election was held, and on Novem- 
ber 25 the first session of the Imperial Diet was convoked. Now the time 
had arrived for politicians to express themselves freely under the pro- 
tection of the law. The majority of the representatitves had decided to 
oppose the government. They discovered that the budget was the 
government's most vulnerable spot, and it became customary for the 
anti-governmental parties to fight the budget in every session, and for 
the government to dissolve the House. 

The second session was convoked November 29, 1891. This time 
both the Liberals and the Progressives, two anti-government parties, 
forming a majority in the House, were united to oppose the government. 
Marquis Okuma, the Progressive leader, was forced to resign his position 
of Privy Councilor because of his friendship with Count Itagaki, the 
Liberal leader. Okuma at once became more popular, and the martial 
spirit of the anti-government parties was inspired. When Kabayama, 
the Minister of the Navy, in advocating the naval budget, arrogantly 
said, "The peace and order which the nation is now enjoying are nothing 
but the gifts of the Sat-Cho Clan government by its meritorious deeds," 
the whole Assembly Hall went into an uproar, and the naval budget 
was voted down immediately. Other important budgets were rejected 
one after another; and on December 25 the Diet was dissolved. 

In the general election of February 15, 1892, the government issued 
a secret order to all local authorities to make the election returns increase 
the government supporters in the House. Violent conflicts took place 
in many localities; twenty-five deaths and three hundred and eighty-eight 

1 Ki Inukai, the Daigaku Hyoronj August, 1917, pp. 72~83 f 


casualties were counted. Martial law was proclaimed, and the govern- 
ment's interference grew more intense. Meanwhile, however, the anti- 
government agitation both in public speeches and newspaper publications 
grew violent. The election returns showed an overwhelming majority 
of the anti-governmental parties, which were then called the " People's 
party " by the public. Mr. Shimada describes the situation of that 
time as follows: 

When the National Assembly was opened in 1890, many prominent jour- 
nalists were elected to the House of Representatives. Then they expressed 
their opinions both in the House and in newspapers, and thus the House and 
the newspapers became closely connected, and consequently the political 
opinions of the House always harmonized with newspaper editorials. This 
peculiar situation was most clearly shown in the government's famous inter- 
ference in the general election of 1892. On that occasion both the newspapers 
and the House bitterly attacked the government's outrages. When news- 
papers were suppressed the members of the House took advantage of freedom 
of speech in the Assembly Hall and their attacks grew more violent in propor- 
tion to the government's suppression of the publicities. Many newspapers 
were entirely forbidden publication and their printing presses forfeited. All 
anti-government papers met with as sad a fate as if they had been dynamited. 
But the more persecution by the government, the more violent grew the 
attacks; and the extraordinary efforts of newspapers were at last well com- 
pensated. Although the government openly interfered with the election and 
outrages were so extreme that troops were dispatched at many places to sup- 
press the disturbances and riots, the result of the vote was an overwhelming 
victory for the anti-government parties and a strong blow to the clan govern- 
ment. This success was, of course, due mostly to speeches and other activities 
of the members; but the unanimous attacks of the newspapers against the 
government undoubtedly accomplished as much toward that great election 
success. 1 

In the fourth session (November 29, 1892 March 1, 1893) the budget 
of the Ito Cabinet was again miserably cut down, and both the govern- 
ment and the Diet took an uncompromising attitude toward each other. 
The Diet was suspended for fifteen days, and was threatened with dis- 
solution. At this time of enormous national growth, the government 
budgets were naturally large; but the Diet systematically voted them 

i Saburo SHmada, the Taikanj October, 1918, pp. 202-3. 


down on the ground that the people were already too heavily taxed, and 
that government officials received absurdly high salaries. The members 
of the House were not to be intimidated by the government, and at once 
passed a resolution to present a memorial to the Throne denouncing the 
government. On February 8 the Speaker of the House, Hoshi, pre- 
sented it to the Emperor. Instead of dissolving the House or resigning 
himself, however, Premier Ito resorted to an artful measure of appealing 
to the Crown's grace. On the tenth of that month the Emperor sum- 
moned all state ministers, members of the Privy Council, and the 
speakers of both Houses to his palace, and issued an imperial edict, part 
of which is as follows: 

At present, when every state of the world is making rapid daily progress, 
you should not waste precious time by internal quarrels, forgetting the great 
end of the state, and thus missing opportunities for our national development? 
for such is not the proper way to serve the august spirits of my Imperial 
Ancestors nor is it the method to reap a bountiful harvest from the recently 
made Imperial Constitution. I hope to see the state affairs well conducted by 
my deeply trusted authorities; and I do not doubt that the good men who 
were elected to the House of Representatives by my subjects will share the 
anxiety day and night with me. 

The expenditures itemized under article 67 of the Imperial Constitution 
were already guaranteed by the text of that aw, and they cannot be a source 
of dispute at this time. I hereby particularly order my Cabinet Ministers to 
most carefully deliberate and make any adjustment of the administrative 
affairs so that there shall be no miscalculation in it, and then to ask for my 

As for matters relating to national defense, they should not be neglected 
for one day, lest we meet a disaster which we would regret for years to come. 
Therefore, I reduce my Imperial Household expenses and grant an annual 
amount of 300,000 yen for the coming six years; and I order my civil and 
military officers, except those who are in certain circumstances, to contribute 
one-tenth of their salaries for the same period in order to supplement the 
expenditures which are required for building war-ships. 

I trust my Cabinet and Diet, and hope that each of you, as an organ of a 
constitutional state, will cautiously refrain from interfering with the juris- 
diction of the other; and that by working together harmoniously you wiH 
assist my great works yet to be accomplished for the development of our state. 


Both Houses at once responded to the request of the Throne, begging 
Its graceful pardon as to their past misconduct and promising that the 
future work should be carried on in compliance with His Majesty's 
advice. The House of Representatives requested, however, that the 
government would thereafter compromise with the House instead of 
blindly adhering to its original requests. They also asked that the 
system of the Administrative Department be improved. These demands 
were granted, and consequently the budgets were passed in the Diet. 
The government had conceded very little in fact, but the imperial advice 
had had a wonderful effect, and all the political parties, except the 
Kenseito (Progressives), who fought to the last, voted for the budget. 

For many years the public had wanted a revision of the Press Law, 
especially the abrogation of the articles requiring public deposits and 
giving the Minister of the Interior power to suspend publication at his 
discretion. A bill to accomplish this had been introduced in the Diet 
many times, but it was always voted down. In the fourth session the 
original bill, which requested the entire abolition of these two rules, was 
so modified by the committee meeting that the deposit system remained 
unchanged and the period of suspension of newspaper publication was 
limited to one week for the daily papers and six issues for the others. 
When this committee resolution became known, the people furiously 
attacked the committee. The representatives of various organized 
movements called on every member of the Diet to persuade them to pass 
the original bill without modification. The opinion of the Lower House 
was greatly affected by these public agitations, and in a general meeting 
the coromittee resolution was rejected and the original bill passed. When 
it was transferred to the Upper House, however, it was again modified. 
The Upper House never was sympathetic with the popular appeals, and 
always opposed revision bills. When the modified bill was returned to 
the Lower House for reconsideration, it was rejected there. Then a joint 
meeting of the committees of both Houses was held, and the modified bill 
passed again. Subsequently it Was voted down by a unanimous vote 
in the Lower House, and thus no revision was made in the fourth session. 

The treaty revision, which twice had been the center of public dis- 
cussions and which each time had extremely embarrassed the government, 


appeared again during the fourth session. A draft of a memorial addressed 
to the Throne was introduced by eight members of the House indorsed 
by the joint signatures of forty-eight others. The draft was as follows: 

.... The extraterritoriality exempts foreigners from our Imperial juris- 
diction and the tariff agreement permits them to escape all our customs duties, 
while their own states request our people to obey their laws and to pay their 
tariffs. Consequently our laws have drooped and dwindled, and our com- 
merce and industry are going to be hopelessly overrun by foreign competitors. 

In short, such diplomatic blunders have undoubtedly been the result of 
the ignorance of the authorities as to the world's situation at the time when 
the treaties were concluded. That is the reason why we should not neglect the 

treaty revision for a moment The real cause of the repeated failure 

to have a successful treaty revision in order to ease Your Majesty's mind is 
that our government authorities did not take into consideration the public 
opinion of our state. Our careful observation has convinced us that in most 
other states diplomatic affairs are based fundamentally on public opinion; and 
they do not allow their government officials to handle them arbitrarily. Why 
should our state not do the same? If our authorities liad noticed this fact 
earlier, we believe that the matter of treaty revision would have been solved 
as easily as a sharp ax cuts the morning mushrooms, and we would not have 
met with these difficulties today. 

Power to conclude the treaties is in the hands of the supreme authority 
of Your Majesty; and we, your subjects, should not discuss it disrespectfully. 
You, however, previously made an oath to the Gods of Heaven aixd Earth that 
you would allow all state affairs to be decided by impartial discussion, and 
that administrative matters should be conducted by co-operation of the 
governing and the governed; that is to say, you would consider the people's 
mind as your mind. Consequently we, your subjects, most respectfully 
. communicate to you the result of the public discussions in the Diet and the 
public opinion of the whole state. The people are requesting the revocation 
of extraterritoriality, re-establishment of tariff, prohibition of free sea-coast 
trade by foreigners, refusal of any exemption to foreigners on matters restricted 
by our Imperial Laws; in short, the conclusion of foreign treaties on equal 
footing with the other states. 

Your august virtue is broad enough to cover everything in the state. Con- 
sequently, we most respectfully present this memorial to you with the hope that 
Your Majesty will accept what the public opinion of our nation most rigorously 
demands now. 


About this time spirited arguments were taking place between govern- 
ment and anti-government newspapers. The following editorial ap- 
peared in the Nippo December 26, 1892 : 

.... We can hardly bear to look upon the present political situation of 
our country. Three hundred figures in the Diet are not, of course, mere pup- 
pets. They can see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and move themselves 
with their limbs. Although their shoulders are so slim, did they not pledge to 
carry the heavy burden of popular expectations? However crude and coarse 
their brains may be, do they not compose the highest organ for the state 
legislation? To the Imperial House above and to the people below what sort 
of obligations do they have? 

Now, do they believe that they are performing their duties by simply 
making such boisterous noises in the Assembly Hall as if they were frogs, 
cicadas, crows, kites, or seagulls? In the morning they say yes, and in the 
evening they shout no. Now they support the right and then the left: they 
change their opinions frivolously, and thus lose the confidence of the public. 
Yet they think that such is the normal practice of statesmen. 

After a careful scrutiny we can discover no trace of virtue nor sense of 
honor in their heads. National interest and public welfare do not concern 
them at all. When once influenced, they change to horses and cows; if 
irritated, they become wild boars and stags; and when skilfully led, they 
change at once to meek cats and dogs. They have no definite opinions of their 
own. By criticisms of the masses they fall and rise, live or die, smile or cry, 
and make noises like insects. 

The popular hopes of our nation have already been crushed. They are 
now the boneless trout, which have no more business in this world of ours. 
Let us cook and devour them! 

The House of Representatives at once filed a libel suit against the 
Nippo Ska in an Imperial Court of Justice. 

In the fifth session, convoked November 25, 1893, the anti- 
government parties demanded strict enforcement of official discipline 
in the government and rigid application of the treaty regulation upon 
foreigners living in imperial territory. 

The members of the House of Representatives discovered that Zojiro 
Goto, Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, and Shuichiro Saito, Ms 
Vice-Minister, were involved in some dishonest business interests. They 


also heard that Torn Hoshi, Speaker of the House, was then holding the 
position of councilorship of the Osaka stock exchange. Consequently, 
before they impeached government officials, they decided to clean their 
own house. In the opening session the House passed a resolution of 
non-confidence on the Speaker by a vote of 166 against 119. Speaker 
Hoshi, a headstrong man, however, did not heed the advice, and the 
next day, occupying the seat of Speaker as usual, he announced, "The 
Speaker, as he had stated previously, did not commit any wrong deed 
which causes him pangs of conscience and therefore he cannot obey the 
House resolution. Consequently, this problem has been all settled now. 
So, let us proceed with the order of the day!" The entire House was 
stupefied for a while. Then another resolution was passed to the effect 
that the day's session should be suspended in order to give the Speaker 
more time to reflect. The next day Hoshi appeared again in the House 
and calmly occupied the Speaker's seat is if nothing had happened. 
The House again passed the same resolution as on the previous day; 
but again on the next day Hoshi appeared. Thereupon a resolution to 
present an impeachment memorial to the Throne was passed after a hot 
debate. As soon as this resolution was passed, Hoshi, who had retired 
while the discussion was going on, reappeared in the Speaker's chair 
and said, "I consider the resolution now passed by this House an uncon- 
stitutional act, and that it leaves an evil precedent in our constitutional 
history. Therefore, I have firmly made up my mind not to resign 
regardless of whatever resolutions may be passed in this House. But 
since you are to appeal to the Emperor and cause His Majesty worry 
through my conduct I feel the greatest awe. Therefore, I will tempo- 
rarily assign the Speaker's chair to the Vice-Speaker for several days, 
and will confine myself." 

By a resolution of the disciplinary committee of the House Hoshi was 
forbidden to attend the House for one week, and was requested to decide 
upon Ms resignation in that period. On the expiration of that time he 
again occupied the Speaker's chair. An emergency resolution to refer 
the matter to the disciplinary committee was made. Hoshi arrogantly 
announced, "Before the House discusses the emergency resolution I 
command it to discuss, as a previous question, whether it is a matter 


properly to be submitted to the disciplinary committee." Thereupon 
the indignation of the anti-governmental parties reached a climax, and 
the House went into an uproar. The following motion was made: 
"When a motion of a disciplinary matter regarding Mr. Hoshi, a member 
of the House, was made, the Speaker purposely insisted that there was a 
doubt as to the legality of that motion and commanded the House to 
discuss it first. Thus by ignoring the House rule and abusing the official 
power, he created a great disorder in the House. This is clearly an act 
to be referred to the disciplinary committee, and therefore it shall be 
done." The matter was at once submitted to the disciplinary com- 
mittee, who decided to expel Hoshi from the House. This resolution 
was passed by a vote of 185 against 92, and he was expelled on October 13. 

The House of Representatives, having soothed its own conscience, 
now presented a memorial to the Throne impeaching the Minister of 
Agriculture and Commerce and his Vice-Minister. 

Next in importance to the disciplinary problem was the question of 
foreign treaties. The early treaties were exceedingly unsatisfactory. 
They could not have been fully enforced upon the foreigners, because 
the pressure of the Western states against their enforcement was very 
strong. A bill to present an impeachment of the government to the 
Throne was introduced in the House of Representatives. In it were 
enumerated the causes for complaint: that in civil suits the Japanese 
government voluntarily submitted the matter to the trial of foreign 
jurisdictions; that Japanese was not spoken in Japanese courts when 
foreigners were involved; that the stamp tax on the filing of suit was not 
enforced on the foreigners; that police jurisdiction was not applied to 
the person and property of the foreigners; that foreigners profited by 
buying and selling real estate against the treaty agreement; that for- 
eigners were doing business either directly or through agents in localities 
outside the trading ports, which were limited by the treaties; that 
taxes which should have been paid were not enforced upon for- 
eigners; that when warships of foreign states entered the ports which 
were not opened to them by the treaties, the intimidated government 
did not protest; that quarantine laws were not enforced upon foreigners 
and their vessels, even at the time of the great cholera epidemic, which 


was brought from China by foreign vessels; that municipal hunting laws 
were not enforced upon foreigners; that the prohibition of free traveling 
and free living of foreigners outside established districts was the natural 
requirement coexisting with the right of the extra-territoriality they 
possess, but that they were freely violating this obligation while they 
enforced their own rights upon the Japanese; that secret fisheries by 
foreigners were not strictly controlled by our government, etc. While 
the House was discussing the bill, threats of foreign ministers to the 
effect that Japan should not enforce the treaties were communicated to 
the government. 

At this time another unfortunate incident happened. An imperial 
gunboat "Chishima Go," which had just been completed in France and 
was being brought to Japan, collided with an English boat in Seto 
Bay, an unquestionably territorial water of Japan, and sunk with its 
entire crew, leaving no trace behind. The Japanese government filed 
a suit for its damage in the name of the Emperor of Japan in the English 
consul court at Yokohama. The defendant English corporation brought 
a cross-action in the English appellate court at Shanghai, China, and 
there it was decided that Seto Bay is not Japan's territorial water. 
The Japanese government lost its case, and was bitterly attacked by the 
public. In the Anglo- Japanese treaty it was agreed that a civil suit 
brought by a Japanese subject against a British subject, started in 
Japanese territory, should belong to the jurisdiction of the British consul 
in Japan; but as to a suit brought by the Japanese government against 
a British subject, there was no special agreement. Consequently, it 
was considered that such a suit should come under the jurisdiction of the 
Japanese courts. The government had made a great mistake in using 
the name of the Emperor as plaintiff in the suit brought in a consul court 
of a foreign state. The House of Representatives demanded an expla- 
nation, and the government replied in a very brief statement, which did 
not satisfy the House. A clear oral explanation was requested of all 
state ministers. The Cabinet refused this request, however, and ao 
further explanations were given. 

On December 19, 1893, a bill to present a memorial to the Throne as 
to the " Chishima Go" incident appeared in the House; and together 


with the other bills of " strict enforcement of foreign-treaty right" were 
to be discussed and passed on that day. The passage of these bills by 
an overwhelming majority seemed certain. Just before the debate 
began, an imperial command to suspend the session for ten days was 
served, and the House was adjourned. During the period of suspension 
the government tried all sorts of lobbying in vain. The duress of the 
foreign states through their ministers had been very strong; and the 
government had been forced to the last resort to avoid serious inter- 
national difficulties the dissolution of the House. 

During this session many bills of impeachment and memorials ap- 
peared, but after repeated suspensions of the Diet it was at last dissolved. 
This iron-handed method of the government irritated the hitherto in- 
active House of Peers, and it addressed an advisory letter to the Cabinet. 
In reply, Premier Ito accused the unmliness of the Lower House, which 
made the Upper House extremely indignant, and a strong protest cen- 
suring many of the government's actions was at once sent to Ito. No 
reply was given to this accusation. 

In the general election, which was held March 1, 1894, the anti- 
government parties again won. the majority; and as soon as the sixth 
session was convoked on May 12, the Lower House passed the following 

We consider it an unconstitutional act that the government dissolved the 
Diet in the Fifth Session before this House had made its final resolutions and 
actions public, and that there was no reason for the dissolution announced. 
Therefore we resolve that that action taken by the government in the dissolu- 
tion of the Diet at the Fifth Session lacks the support of this House. 

An impeachment memorial was presented to the Emperor May 30. 
It was not accepted, however, and the Diet was dissolved on the next day. 

There was never before so violent a conflict between the government 
and the Diet in the political history of Japan. Regardless of the deter- 
mined opposition of the Lower House in the two succeeding sessions, the 
government absolutely ignored public opinion. Legally there is no 
rule in the Japanese constitution which limits the number of times a Diet 
may be dissolved. But no cabinet could remain in session amidst such 
strong disapproval of the public, A bill to revise the Press Law appeared 


in this session, but was voted down as usual. At this time freedom of 
discussion, assemblage, and association was rigidly restricted; and the 
suspension of newspaper publication was a daily occurrence. Many 
political organizations were dissolved at the discretion of the Minister 
of the Interior for disturbing peace and order. Both government and 
anti-government factions availed themselves of every device for de- 
feating each other, and this was the stormiest period in the political 
experience of the Japanese. 

Why did such bitter conflict exist between the government and Diet? 
The greatest problems of the day were concerned, first, with the develop- 
ment of constitutional government and, second, with the aspiration for 
national growth. The whole nation demanded equality in its inter- 
national relations. It believed that it now deserved to be admitted to 
the family of civilized nations on an equal footing, and that the dis- 
criminatory terms of foreign treaties should be abrogated at once. All 
factions agreed on this basic idea; but the contention between the gov- 
ernment and the opposing political parties was that the latter were 
impatient with the slow diplomatic progress made by the authorities. 
In a word, the social unrest, due to the gradual growth of the spirit of 
democracy on one hand, and the rise of nationalistic aspirations on the 
other, was the principal cause of the existing conflict. The treaty- 
revision problem and other international difficulties created a strong 
national self-consciousness and stimulated the growth of reactionary 
nationalism which culminated in a war with China. 




For nearly twenty years after the Restoration of 1868 a worship-the- 
West mania swept over Japan. The science and art of the West were 
obviously superior and its philosophy novel. The people of Japan began 
blindly to follow everything foreign. Whatever was old was depre- 
ciated and whatever new admired, and at one time it seemed as though 
the mores would be completely upset. 

Then the Japanese had begun to think in terms of a world-power. 
They thought their political system equal to those of the Western states; 
their laws were as good, and their public as well educated. Why then 
did the foreigners, they wondered> still look down upon them and refuse 
them equal treatment in the family of states? They began to make a 
serious study of the nature of Western civilization, instead of blindly 
worshiping it, and discovered its defects and shortcomings. At the same 
time they turned a critical eye upon their own civilization, a product of 
three thousand years, and began to appreciate its valuable elements. 
They recognized their national blunder. The study of Japanese and 
Chinese classics and Buddhist philosophy, which had been grossly neg- 
lected since the Restoration, was revived. In 1882 a special course in 
Japanese classics was provided in the Tokyo Imperial University to 
investigate the literature and institutions of Japan. A cry for the 
"preservation of the national characteristics" was loudly raised. 

At this psychological moment the Imperial Rescript for Education 
was issued. This rescript has become the fundamental principle of 
national education. It is read in all schools each national holiday, and 
its text is thoroughly committed to memory by the school children. 
The following is an authorized translation of its text: 

Know ye, Our subjects: 

Our Imperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad and 
everlasting and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue; Our subjects ever 



united in loyalty and filial piety, have from generation to generation illustrated 
the beauty thereof. This is the glory of the fundamental character of Our 
Empire, and herein also lies the source of Our education. 

Ye, Our subjects, be filial to your parents, affectionate to your brothers 
and sisters; as husbands and wives be harmonious, as friends true; bear your- 
selves in modesty and moderation; extend your benevolence to all; pursue 
learning and culture arts, and thereby develop intellectual faculties and per- 
fect moral powers; furthermore advance public good and promote common 
interests; always respect the constitution and observe the laws; should emer- 
gency arise, offer yourselves courageously to the State; and thus guard and 
maintain the propriety of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth. 
So shall ye be not only Our good and faithful subjects, but render illustrious 
the best traditions of your forefathers. 

The way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed to us by Our 
Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and the sub- 
jects, infallible for all ages and true in all places. It is Our wish to lay it to 
heart in all reverence, in common with you, Our subjects, that we may al 
thus attain to the same virtue. 

The Thirtieth day of the Tenth Month 
of the Twenty-third Year of Meiji (1890) 

The Buddhists and Shintoists began to attack the newly propagated 
Christianity on the basis that the latter was opposed to the Imperial 
Rescript for Education which emphasizes loyalty and filial piety as the 
basis for all virtues* Dr. Tetsujiro Inoue, professor of philosophy of the 
Imperial University, was the leader of this anti-Christian propaganda. 
Christian scholars such as Toki-o Yokoi and Goro Takahashi made 
rebuttal, and spirited arguments continued for more than a year. These 
temporary conflicts, however, brought about a better mutual under- 
standing between the different doctrines and a healthier development 
of their respective fields. Christianity in Japan, which had hitherto 
Ignored the mores of the nation, began to adapt itself to the national 
characteristics; and the Buddhists and Shintoists began to approach 
Christianity both in ideas and practices. 

Regardless of successive dissolutions of the Diet the political parties 
continued to attack the diplomatic weakness of the government. An 


anti-government journalists' association began a vigorous attack on the 
government's foreign policy. The dissolution of the organization was 
ordered and any co-operative activity among political parties pro- 
hibited. National opinion was deeply stirred. Jingoes and zealots 
gnashed their teeth with indignation at the humiliating treatment by 
the foreigners. 

Of all the foreign states whose attitude had irritated Japan, China 
ranked first. China entirely misunderstood the national psychology and 
the real strength of Japan just as Russia did ten years later. The 
Chinese could not realize the rapid internal development and fulfilment 
of the national strength of Japan. Nor had they taken into considera- 
tion the growing nationalistic spirit. They observed only the appar- 
ently hopeless conflicts between the government and the Diet, the 
discontent of the people, and the ever-timid diplomatic attitude taken 
by the government. Above all, the Chinese failed to realize that these 
internal disturbances were caused by the growth of the national strength 
and higher aspirations of the people. China, therefore, kept up her 
traditional arrogant attitude toward Japan. The dispute in Korea 
brought about the crisis; and the curtain was raised on the Japan-China 
War (August 1, 1894 April 14, 1895). When war was declared, to her 
great surprise China found Japan organized one in heart and one in 

At the end of this war the long-awaited treaty revision with foreign 
states was drawn up, though not in an entirely satisfactory way; and 
thus Japan's first steps into the family of the world-powers were taken. 

National contentment brought about by the conclusion of the peace 
treaty with China did not last long. Another political catastrophe, the 
so-called "Three States' Intervention," came like a thunderbolt. The 
League of the Three States, Russia, Germany, and France, sent coercive 
advice to the Japanese government that Japan should return her newly 
added territory of Liaotung Peninsula to China for the sake of the 
"preservation of the future peace in the Far East." These three states 
believed that the time would soon come when the Chinese Empire 
should be cut to pieces and divided among the world-powers. Conse- 
quently, they did not want the entrance to their great future booty land 


to be in the hands of the Japanese. So they concentrated their combined 
fleet near the coast of Japan and awaited her reply. There seemed but 
one course for the Japanese government to take. Liaotung Peninsula, 
the prize of the hard-fought war, was snatched from her hands. 

Political parties and newspapers broke the submissive quiet they had 
maintained during the war, and declared a bitter war against the govern- 
ment. "Glorious victory in war and crushing defeat in diplomacy 1" 
echoed from corner to corner of the Island Empire. Suspension after 
suspension of newspaper publications and dissolutions of political asso- 
ciations and mass meetings occurred. All public speakers were con- 
stantly watched by secret-service men, and even private parties were 
interrupted by the police. Co-operation among political organizations 
was strictly forbidden. In the ninth session of the Diet (December 28, 
1895 March 29, 1896) an impeachment bill appeared, but after a hot 
debate between the government and anti-government parties it was 
defeated. The House agreed that whosesoever the blame, the return of 
the Liaotung Peninsula was due to necessity, and that the post-bellum 
program was far more important now than "counting the age of the 
dead child," as a Japanese proverb says. 

During this session another problem appeared to make the situation 
more difficult. Russia, which but a short time before had forced Japan 
to give up Liaotung Peninsula for the sake of the "future peace in the 
Far East/' now obtained political control over Manchuria and Korea, 
expelling all Japanese influence. The Korean government was estab- 
lished in the building of the Russian legation. All government orders 
had to pass the censorship of the Russian minister. A wholesale mas- 
sacre of pro- Japanese officials took place, and their corpses were exposed 
on the streets or burned in the busiest corners of the capital. The 
Japanese went wild with wrath. A bill for a non-confidence resolution 
was introduced in the House of Representatives by the Kokumin Kyokai 
(Nationalists' League), a semi-government party who only a short time 
before most strongly opposed the passage of the impeachment bill 
regarding the Liaotung problem. It became apparent now that the 
government would be compelled to act immediately. Suddenly an 
imperial order was issued to suspend the Diet for ten days. During 


this time the government succeeded in softening the Kokumin Kyokai, 
and the bill was defeated. 

Press Law revision bills appeared in the eighth and the ninth sessions 
of the Diet, and each time they were promptly passed in the House of 
Representatives and rejected in the House of Peers. It was evident 
that the freedom of discussion guaranteed by the constitution was to 
remain a dead clause for some time. 

This was the period in which both constitutionalism and nationalism 
made marked progress through the stimulation of newspapers. 



The Japan-China War marked a new epoch for journalism in Japan. 
Until about 1897 the dominant interest of Japanese newspapers, whether 
pronounced party organs or otherwise, was political. Therefore edi- 
torials occupied the most important place in journalism. Since the war, 
however, the rapid economic development of the country had brought 
about a great change. 

Commerce and industry, which had been developing gradually since 
the Restoration, had an enormous growth after the nineties. Since 1868 
foreign trade had doubled every ten years. During the decade between 
1892 and 1902 it nearly quadrupled. So was it also with investments 
of joint-stock enterprises. The two following tables show the develop- 
ment of these two economic items: 














27 420 


4 072* 











1897 . 

177 875 

274 170 

452 046 








568 942 

689 659 

1 258 601 







* Signifies the excess of imports over exports 

The demand for commercial advertising naturally increased, and the 
most effective means was, of course, newspapers and periodicals. In 
Japan the revenue from subscriptions is not sufficient for the maintenance 
of newspapers. Besides subscriptions, party or government subsidies, 

1 The Kokumin, Kokumin Nenkan> 1917, pp. 275-76. 




and contributions of sympathizers, the most important source of news- 
paper revenue is from advertisements. To attract advertisements, a 
paper must have a large circulation. 

Yukichi Fukuzawa was, perhaps, the pioneer in introducing an inde- 
pendent newspaper in Japan. He established the Jiji in 1882, and 
printed only articles of economic and social importance and non-partisan 
matters of state. This policy met with popular approval, and the Jiji 
maintained a fair circulation* It was not a successful business venture, 









1894 .... 
1915. .. . 







however. The beginning of the newspaper as a commercial enterprise 
was made by Ryuhei Murayama, a man of keen business insight. Al- 
though not a learned person, he was a keen observer of the changing 
social conditions of the time. He boldly launched a new policy in news- 
paper enterprise. Profit was his sole purpose, and to that end he con- 
centrated his attention on giving good news, spending large amounts 
of money, and making use of every available means of communication. 
His paper, the Osaka AsaM, established 1879, increased its circulation 
far more rapidly than any other newspaper of that day. Its rival paper, 
the Osaka Mainichi, soon adopted a similar system, and subsequently 
nearly all the large newspapers in Japan followed ^the lead of Osaka 

About this time the literary style of Japanese newspapers made a 
great improvement through the influence of Soho Tokutomi, who later 
became the owner of the Kokumin. Journalistic literature of the early 
days was a modification of Chinese composition, which necessitates a 
very awkward sentence-structure. A movement to give up the defective 

1 Japan Year Book, 1917, pp. 482-83; Koknmin Nenkan, 1918. 


elements of Chinese syntax, ornamental words, and superfluous phrases 
had been started by Yukichi Fukuzawa. Tokutomi now introduced the 
short, concise sentence-form. Fumio Yano, editor of the Hochi, re- 
turned from Europe in 1885 with the idea that first a newspaper must 
lower subscription price within reach of the lower and middle classes. 
He put this new policy into practice: its monthly subscription was 
lowered from 75 sen to 25 sen, the literary style was simplified, and serial 
stories were added. The circulation of the Eochi rapidly increased, and 
soon other Tokyo papers adopted a similar system. 

Then, in the nineties, sensationalism, another new element, was 
introduced into Japanese journalism. The Yorozu, which was established 
in 1892, the Yomiuri, established in 1893 ? and the Niroku, established 
in 1893, began "muckraking." This sensationalism, however, increased 
the circulation of these papers rapidly, especially among subscribers of the 
lower classes, who heretofore had not been much interested in newspapers. 
In this respect these "yellow" journals served as a means of populariz- 
ing Japanese journalism. Kuroiwa also introduced a new kind of news- 
paper fiction. He published translations of Western detective stories in 
the Yorozu which soon became so popular that it was widely imitated. 

After the Russo-Japanese War, the Hochi, under the management of 
Gensai Murai, began to publish interesting serial stories, and depart- 
ments treating various interests, such as medical, legal, business, edu- 
cational, domestic. This innovation met with remarkable success, and 
the EocM, which had a circulation of only five thousand before the war, 
obtained more than fifty thousand circulation in a few years. This new 
policy was soon adopted by other newspapers in Japan. 1 

Another factor which promoted the development of Japanese journal- 
ism was the introduction of the rotary press from France. The first 
rotary press used in Japan was imported by the Bureau of the Official 
Gazette about 1887. In 1889 the Osaka Asahi brought a similar machine 
from France. They made it possible to print a large number of papers 
in a short time. Since 1906 several manufactories of rotary-press 
machines have been established in Japan, and at the present time 
Japanese-made machines far exceed the imported ones. 

1 Okuma, S., Fifty Yews of New Japan, II, 407-8. 



The remarkable increase in the national population, diffusion of 
general education, and development of means of communication, and the 
many great wars stimulated the increase of newspaper circulation. The 
following table shows the growth of population in New Japan; 

Year Population of Japan 1 

1867 approximately 30,000,000 

1874 33,625,000 

1884 37,451,000 

1893 41,388,000 

1903 46,732,000 

1913 53,362,000 

1919 approximately 58,000,000 

The civil wars of the early period of New Japan, Japan-China War, 
Russo-Japanese War, and the recent Great War were great incentives 
to the growth of circulation nor did the increased circulation fall back 
to the pre-war condition in times of peace. 

Thus newspapers in Japan changed from private party organs to 
independent commercial enterprises. 


The first marked increase of newspaper circulation came after the 
Saigo Civil War of 1877. At the end of that war there were 225 papers 




Rotary Presses 






Osaka .. 




Provincial . . 




Papers using the old- type press 


Total circulation 


* Formosa, Chosen, and Sakhalin not included. 

with a total yearly circulation of 37,683,330. In 1887 there were 470 
papers with 95,932,270 yearly cir dilation in whole Japan; in 1897, 745 

1 The population of Korea numbering about 12,000,000 is not included in these 

2 The SHinbun Kogiroku^ chapter on "Business Methods," p. 58. 


papers with 431,810,000 yearly circulation; and in 1895 the daily cir- 
culation of the only Tokyo newspapers was about 70,000; in 1905 it 
increased to 350,000; and in November of 1912 it passed 510,000. The 
approximate circulation in the country in 1915 is given on page 106. 
The exact circulation of each newspaper is kept secret, but it can be 
estimated from the amount of paper used. The figures show that 
in the year 1915 there was one copy sold to every ten of the popu- 
lation, and that the circulation increased every year by 15 per cent or 

As to the daily circulation of each leading newspaper the following 
estimate was generally accepted as correct in March, 1918: 

IN MARCH, 1918 1 

Name of Newspaper Circulation 

1. Osaka Asaki 500,000 

2. Osaka Mainichi 500,000 

3. Tokyo Nicki-nicM 335,000 

4. Hochi 280,000 

5. Kokumin 200,000 

6. Tokyo Asahi 190,000 

7. Tokyo Mai-yu 125,000 

8. Yorozu 120,000 

9. Yam&to 120,000 

10. Tokyo Jiji SMmpo 100,000 

11. Miyako 60,000 

12. Chit* 55,000 

13. Yomiuri 45,000 

14. Chugai Shogyo 35,000 

15. Tokyo Mainichi 20,000 

16. Niroku 20,000 

The expense of publishing a newspaper in Japan, as in most Western 
countries, exceeds the income from subscriptions. The price of printing 

1 These figures were given to me by Mr. Keishi Iseri, a journalist friend of mine 
in Tokyo. 


paper of an eight-page newspaper, which is the common size at present, 
in 1916 was 15 sen a month. With ink and other material it cost 17 sen. 
When the fees paid to the newspaper-distributing agencies were added, 
the minimum cost of one copy was 23 to 26 sen a month. This does not 
include salaries, telegraph fees, office or editorial expenses. The cost of 
printing paper is therefore about equal to that of all other items in 
making the newspaper. The total cost of one copy of an eight-page 
newspaper was approximately 30 sen a month. The average subscription 
price was, however, less than 30 sen. From this announced subscrip- 
tion price commissions of 5 to 8 sen per month are allowed the distrib- 
uting agencies, and from > to 1 sen to the larger newspaper brokers 
(eight of them in Tokyo) . Therefore the net receipts of newspaper offices 
were from 21 to 24> sen monthly subscription. Advertisements are 
all that bring a net profit to the newspapers. 

In order to attract advertising, the following methods for increasing 
circulation are used by newspapers: 

1. Distribution of free sample copies. Through distributing agen 
cies free sample copies are sent daily for one or two weeks to a house. 
After that the carrier calls to solicit a subscription. This is a common 
and an efficient system. The expense, however, both of the sample 
copies and the carriers, is large, amounting to 2 yen for one new 
subscription. Most newspapers are forced by competition to distribute 
from 20 per cent to 30 per cent of their actual subscription number as 
free samples. 

2. Rebate of subscription. The average Japanese reader prefers a 
newspaper with lower subscription rate even if the quality be a little 
inferior, and this is especially so with new subscribers. Therefore, 
newspapers frequently reduce a 35 sen monthly subscription to 25, 20, 
or even as low as 15 sen. This reduction to new subscribers necessitates 
a special rate for the newspaper-distributing agencies and extra pay to 
the carriers. 

3. Other competitive methods. Novel and less expensive means of 
increasing circulation are in great demand. Premiums are offered: free 
bathing-places at the seashore, invitations to theaters, rebates on rail- 
road fares, free traveling shows, free lectures, social gathering's, running 


races of donkeys and cows, firefly-catching parties in Tokyo, traveling 
free expositions, pearl-fishing parties, and many other eccentric devices 
are adopted. Voting for the most popular actor, actress, 'beautiful 
woman, geisha girl, mercantile house, temple, etc., came Into vogue, and 
prizes were given to the winners. This practice was supervised or for- 
bidden by the police department, as were also hidden-treasure hunting 
and lottery tickets. Recently base ball, tennis, boat-racing, airplane- 
flying exhibitions, and various intercollegiate sports were used for 
advertising pusposes. 1 

The talk of Mr. Hikoichi Motoyama, president of the Osaka Mainichi, 
one of the two largest papers in Japan, on the rise and fall of newspaper 
circulation, is worth quoting: 

The circulation of newspapers which stand purely on a business basis is 
"more steady than those which are tinted with partisan or group interests or 
opinions. This is the reason why the subscribers of Osaka papers do not 
change so frequently as those of Tokyo papers. When beautiful picture sup- 
plements are added to the New Year edition, the circulation in January in- 
creases from 40 per cent to 50 per cent, and subsequently it decreases every 
month until it reaches the minimum about August. This may be the result 
of hot weather on one hand, or of the busiest season of fkrmers on the other. 
From September it increases again. At the time when the National Assembly 
was first established there was a considerable increase of circulation, but today 
the opening of the parliamentary session does not affect it. The change of 
cabinet shows no effect either. A remarkable increase was noticed at the 
time of the Japan-China War and the Russo-Japanese War. This is perhaps 
due to the patriotic spirit of the nation. Another increase came a little after 
the death of the late Emperor Mutsuhito. On this occasion there was a 
peculiar phenomenon: that increase of circulation did not occur when the 
seriousness of His Majesty's condition was reported day and night by extra 
editions of all newspapers, but it came when he was dead and the news of his 
funeral was given out. Why was this? We can hardly consider it to have 
been either a result of patriotic or loyal feeling. Someone said that it was 
because the great funera! 7 which was conducted with an extraordinarily mag- 
nificent ceremony, became the subject-matter of general gossip and people 

1 Practically based on the Shimbun Koglroku, chapter on " Business Methods/' 
pp. 70-78. 


felt it to be a shame if they could not talk about this great event. Again at 
the beginning of the great World's War the circulation increased markedly 
and while the German- Japanese War was in progress in Kiao-Chau it increased 
by SO per cent. But after the fall of Tsingtao it rapidly decreased, although 
the war in Europe was growing more intense and Japan herself was still con- 
cerned in it 1 

In spite of the foregoing practices of Japanese newspapers, their 
financial condition is generally serious. One of the handicaps of journal- 
ism in Japan is the fact that there is no alphabet. All printing is done 
with a mixed form of Chinese ideographs and Japanese syllabaries called 
kana. Four or five thousand ideographs are used, and the composing 
room of a newspaper must be provided with more than 10,000. Type- 
writers or linotypes are useless. Consequently a much larger number 
of printers are needed than for Western newspapers, and typesetters 
must be trained from boyhood. It is safe to say that Japanese printers 
walk many miles every day in the composing room to pick up these 
10,000 widely scattered types. Moreover, Chinese ideographs are too 
hard for the ordinary high-school graduate to read unless they are 
attached with kana, the phonetic interpretation. Thus the printing 
process in Japan takes many times the labor required for the printing 
of Western newspapers, and in spite of low wages the expense of publi- 
cation becomes enormous. 

A great weakness of Japanese journalists is their lack of business 
training. Lastly, there are too nxany newspapers, and competition 
makes the subscription price as well as the advertising rates too low. 


According to the Shimbun Kogiroku, the income from advertisements is 
about 1,000 yen a day in the first-class newspapers of Tokyo. In Feb- 
ruary, 1918, the Shin-Jidai stated that during the previous year the daily 
income from advertisements of the two Osaka papers increased to more 
than 2,600 yen. In provincial newspapers a monthly revenue of 1,000 
yen is considered fair. 

1 Sekitaro Uokawa, Shimbun ni Nammade, Supplement, pp. 15-19. 



In 1914 the income from advertisements in the leading news- 
papers was as follows: 1 




One Paper 
per Month 



y3 ,820,0 00 


y2 1,000 

Osaka . ...*... 


yl } 740,000 


y 2,700 

The foregoing statistics are based on definite stated rates. The 
existing rebates, which are kept secret by all papers, however, must 
have made the actual amount of income less than this list. Increased 
circulation means an increased rate of advertisement. Often the rate 
is higher the first part of the month than in the latter part. There is a 
difference of rates according to the nature of things advertised; for 
instance, such things as stocks and bonds, legal advertisements, and 
balance sheets of banks and other corporations are charged higher rates 
than patent medicines, toilet articles, steamships, and theaters. The 
latter group predominates in newspaper advertisements and therefore 
are offered special rebates. 

The circulation of newspapers has had a 15 per cent yearly increase, 
advertisements a 20 per cent increase. From 55 to 60 per cent of the 
income of metropolitan papers today is from advertisements, the rest 
from subscriptions. With provincial newspapers the reverse is true. 

As in other countries newspaper advertisements in Japan are not 
handled directly by the newspaper offices. The advertising agency 
made its appearance at a comparatively early period. Its originator 
was a certain Ohira, a member of the business staff of the Times , which 
was established in Tokyo in 1884. In 1886 the Sanseisha, an organized 
advertising agency, was established in Tokyo by the suggestion of 
Yukichi Fukuzawa. Since then incorporated agencies, established 
with larger amounts of capital, have handled almost all the advertising 
of large newspapers. 

1 The Shimbun Kogiroku, chapter on "Business Methods," p. 37. 




Established in 

Capital, Yen 

1 Tcikoku Tsushinsha .... 



2 ELohodo 


100 000 

3 Shojikisha 

4 Hakuho-do . . . . . .... 


100 000 

5. Nippon Dempo-Tsushinsha 
6. Mannensha . ... 



7. ICeikasha 

Besides there are more than 200 minor advertising agencies just in 
Tokyo; and Osaka, Kyoto, and other provincial cities have many. 

News-gathering agencies now consider the business of the adver- 
tising agency one of their most profitable side lines. 


The first news-gathering agency appeared in Tokyo in 1887 under 
the name " Jiji Tsushinsha." It supplied political news only. Besides 
newspaper offices, governors and chiefs of police of prefectural govern- 
ments were its subscribers. In 1889 Shimbun Yotashi-Kaisah, In 1890 
Tokyo Tsushin, and after 1897 large numbers of news agencies were 
established all over the country. At present there are about twenty- 
five of them in Tokyo. Nippon Dempo Tsushin, Teikoku Tsushin, 
Choya Tsushin, Jiyu Tsushin, Chugai Tsushin, Meiji Tsushin, Dokuritsu 
Tsushin, Naigai Chosa, Keizai Tsushin, Tokyo Tsushin, Jitsugyo Tsushin, 
Tomiyama Tsushin, Nippon Tsushin, Daito Tsushin, Chiyoda Tsushin, 
Kokusai Tsushin, Toyo Tsushin, Aikoku Tsushin, Taiyo Tsushin, 
Taisho Tsushin, Engei Tsushin, and a few others are the leading ones. 
There are also special news agencies such as Fujo Tsushin (Ladies' News 
Agency), Engei Tsushin (Theatrical News Agency), Jitsugyo Tsushin 
(Financial News Agency), etc. Dempo Tsushin is the largest, Tokyo 
Tsushin the next. Jiyu and Choya are party organs of the Seiyukai party 
and the Dokuritsu Tsushin of the Doshikai party. Nippon and Chiyoda 
handle only news from the Imperial Household. Kokusai Tsushin 
is an international news agency, connected with Reuter's of England. 

1 The Newspaper Directory, 1909, pp. 539-56. 


This organization is said to be a semi-official interpreter of the Japanese 
government to the world. Nippon Dempo Tsushin has exchanges with 
the Associated Press of America. 

As to the respective amount of news coming to Japan from different 
countries, the following statement of Professor Martin is interesting: 

The amount of space devoted to American news is small in comparison 
with European news. This is not due to a lack of interest in the United States 
but chiefly to the high cable tolls across the Pacific. The present cable rate, 
excluding the receiver's address, is about 50 cents a word. This must be 
borne entirely by the few Japanese papers receiving the messages. The 
arrangement with the Kokusai agency is such that the Japanese papers pay 
only a small part of the cable charges from London. The Reuter agency 
sends its cables to Shanghai and they are relayed from that point to Japan. 

A record of foreign news published by the leading Japanese papers in 
one month, November, 1917, shows that they carried altogether forty-five 
columns of news from Europe and only twelve from the United States. The 
news for that month was divided as follows: British army, eight columns; 
British parliament and general news, eight columns; Italy, eight and a half 
columns; France, three and a half columns; miscellaneous, including news of 
Germany, neutral countries and a small amount of the news of the United 
States sent through London, three columns. Of the twelve columns from the 
United States, six and a half columns were devoted to news of the Ishii and 
Megata commissions. One column was devoted to the United States army 
and navy, two and a half columns to general American news, and two columns 
to European news sent from New York or other points. A reduction in the 
cost of transmission of news across the Pacific, Japanese newspaper men 
assert, would mean a better understanding of conditions existing in this 
country, and, as a result, a better understanding of the foreign and domestic 
politics by the people of the two countries. 1 


Until about 1894 newspaper offices sold directly to readers, dis- 
tributing the papers by their own carriers and mail. But when the 
Japan-China War suddenly increased the circulation, newspaper- 
distributing agencies made their appearance. The result was that 

1 F. L. Martin, The Journalism of Japan, the University of Missouri Bulletin, 
Vol. 19, No. 10, p. 35. 


newspaper offices simplified their business and diminished expense, 
while the public received better service. Instead of many newspaper 
vendors retracing each other's steps, a carrier from one agency dis- 
tributes all papers. Papers are distributed directly to the readers now, 
only where a large number of readers live together, as in government 
offices, large office buildings, schools, etc. 

In Tokyo there are: (1) Hakuryukan (for Yamato, Chu-o, Jiji, 
and Tokyo Mainichi); (2) Shinyei Goshikaisha (sole agency for Miyako) ; 

(3) Seishindo (agency to distribute local papers to the readers of Tokyo) ; 

(4) Ikueido (for all papers); (5) Naikoku Shimbun Goshikaisha (for 
all papers); (6) Mangensha (for all papers); (7) Johoku Goshikaisha 
(for all papers); (8) Kanda Shimbunten (for all papers). These eight 
are the principal newspaper brokers in Tokyo. They have several 
branch offices and subagents for the distribution of papers. The 
evening papers have special agents and are sold by hawkers. In 
every provincial city and village there are also local agents. 


At present there are two newspaper-clipping supply houses in Tokyo. 
According to the special demand, each subscriber receives what he 
especially wants political, economic, literary, social, educational, 
religious, or other subjects. Many people subscribe for the clippings 
of the articles personally related to themselves. Nippon Kirinuki 
Tsushinsha was established in 1885 by the persuasion of the Imperial 
Household Department. Almost all nobles and other upper-class 
people are subscribers. The merit of the system is as follows: 

1. Time economy. Subscribers can easily find desired articles. 
Furthermore, these clippings are delivered so quickly that frequently 
they reach the subscribers before the original newspapers are delivered. 

2. Subscribers can read many newspapers at the expense of on. 

3. This is an effective means of newspaper advertising. Each 
clipping is marked clearly with the name of the respective newspaper 
and the date of its publication. Consequently many newspaper offices 
supply the necessary amount of copies of their papers to the clipping 
supply houses free of charge, and others give large reductions. 1 

1 Newspaper Directory, 1916, pp. 43-47. 



In Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other large cities evening papers are 
now issued. They are sold by hawkers at busy corners, in street cars, 
railway stations, dockyards, and other places where large numbers of 
people gather or pass. There is no corner news stand like the ones 
found in American cities. The sale of evening papers goes on from 
four to eight in the afternoon. In February, 1916, Tokyo had 284 
evening-paper agencies just for the sale of papers on street cars. The 
approximate number of copies sold by hawkers each evening was 45,000; 
this does not include those sold in monthly subscriptions. 1 

In Tokyo at present there are three newspapers which issue evening 
papers only. They are Tokyo Mainichi, Tokyo Maiyu, and Tokyo 
Yukan. Five papers publish both morning and evening editions (HocM, 
Yamato, Yorozu, ChuOj and Niroku). Many people subscribe for both 
editions of the same or different papers. 


The newspapers published outside of Tokyo and Osaka may be 
called provincial newspapers. These can be roughly classified into 
four groups. Those which belong to the first class have large circula- 
tions covering neighboring provinces. They are Fukuoka Nichi-nichi 
and Shin-AicM, both of which have more than 50,000 circulation. Those 
of the second class have a circulation of from 20,000 to 50,000 and have 
about eight pages. There are fifteen newspapers of this class. The 
third-class papers are published in the capitals and the large cities of 
the provinces, and have a steady circulation of from 10,000 to 20,000. 
They are four- or six-page papers. The fourth-class papers are gener- 
ally edited in the smaller cities and towns; they are four or six pages 
and have a circulation of between 1,000 and 10,000. They have no such 
equipment as the modern rotary-press machine. 2 

Most country newspapers still obtain subsidies from political parties. 
Consequently impartial treatment of news cannot be expected from 
them. They maintain a fair circulation compared with the capital 

1 TJae Shimbun Kogiroku, chapter on "Business Management," p. 63. 

2 Ibid., chapter on "Provincial Newspapers," pp. 3-4. 


invested and the equipment of the establishment among the blindly 
partisan country people, who read party organs more than city people. 
Besides these country papers there are many colonial papers. Wher- 
ever there are several thousand Japanese settled, there are newspapers 
edited in the Japanese language. Thus in the new territories of For- 
mosa, Sakhalin, and Korea, and also in the colonies of Manchuria, in 
Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai, Hankau, and several cities of Eastern 
Russia there are small Japanese newspapers. In the United States 
there are various Japanese papers in the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific 
Coast states, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and New York. 


There are several English papers for the foreign residents of Japan 
also. Some of them were established even earlier than the vernacular 
papers the Japan Mail in 1865, the Japan Gazette in 1867, and the 
Japan Chronicle in 1868. Besides these there are the Japan Advertiser, 
the Kobe Herald, the Nagasaki Press, the Seoul Press, and the Japan 
Times, all of which are printed in English. Their circulation is naturally 
small, and consequently the subscription rates are much higher than 
the vernacular papers from 20 to 27 . 50 yen a year. Except the Japan 
Advertiser, which is owned by an American, they are owned by English- 
men. The Japan Advertiser and the Japan Chronicle are the largest 
and most influential ones among them. Besides the local news, which 
is obtained by their own reporters, they purchase news from foreign 
and Japanese agencies. Most of the news is, however, translation of 
the articles which appear in the vernacular papers, in foreign newspapers, 
and periodicals. Some of the well-educated Japanese also subscribe 
for these papers to obtain the foreigners' point of view. 


The newspapers of Japan are six-, eight-, ten-, and twelve-page 
papers. The first page, which in Western newspapers is generally 
filled with the most important articles, is considered the least important 
and is often an ornamental page. It contains literary articles and ad- 
vertisements. Some papers fill it with scientific articles, book reviews, 


translations of Western literature, miscellanies, and fiction (Yorozu, 
Yomiuri, Kokumin, Hochi, Yamato, and Cku-o), while others use it for 
advertisements only (AsaM, NicM-nicM, and Jiji,) The synthetic 
system of the Western newspapers is used only by a few like Niroku and 

Most Japanese papers have taken the method of specialization of 
each page. This method has some merits; for instance, each paper comes 
to have a characteristic make-up, and readers may turn immediately 
to the page in which they are most interested. A disadvantage of this 
system is that the important news is scattered through all the pages. 
The first page generally treats of art and science, book reviews, adver- 
tisements, editorials, and the drama. Political and economic subjects 
are generally treated oh the second page, and social news on the third. 
The sporting-news section, the family section, the provincial-news sec- 
tion, etc., are distributed among the other pages. The marginal space 
between the pages, which is left blank in all Western papers, is filled 
with less important news and the news which reached the office after 
the compilation of all regular forms had been closed. 


Journalists are generally poorly paid in Japan. This is due to the 
poor financial status of the papers. As stated elsewhere, in the earlier 
days editorial writers were paid rather exorbitant salaries. This was 
never so with the writers of general news and reporters, however. At 
present the first pay of a college-graduate reporter is about 30 yen a 
month with an additional allowance of 20 yen for car fare. On small 
newspapers the salary is about 25 yen. The political and economic 
news department pays a little higher salary than that stated above, 
but in general those who receive 100 yen a month are considered high- 
grade journalists. The head of each department is paid about 150 yen; 
the editors of the large papers receive 300 yen per month. There are a 
few papers such as the Osaka AsaM and the Tokyo AsaM which pay about 
500 yen to their editors. Thus the yearly income of journalists ranges 
from about 200 yen to 6,000 yen. Bonuses, prizes, and other special- 
reward systems are provided in a few papers, but the pension system 


has not been introduced. Consequently their remuneration is no better 
than that of school teachers and petty officials, and far inferior to em- 
ployees of large business establishments, where the higher employees 
receive about 500 yen a month with bonuses of tens of thousands yen a 
year. Many journalists write for magazines and book publishers, so 
that their gross income compares favorably with other liberal professions 
in Japan. 

Country papers usually pay about one-half the amount the metro- 
politan papers do about 25 yen per month. Consequently many of 
them act as correspondents of metropolitan papers, and sell articles 
to magazines and publishers. Their pay is not only meager, but the 
competition is extremely sharp, and their positions are not secure. 
Therefore journalism is not a very attractive profession for capable 
and ambitious youths. Recently voices have been raised loudly from 
various quarters requesting better treatment for journalists so that 
the quality both of the journals and of the journalists may be improved. 

Editorial writers have always been highly respected, but reporters 
were for a long time looked down upon as undesirable characters. To 
quote Mr. Inukai, "The reporters of the earlier days were an assort- 
ment of low-grade men. When people were visited by them, it was 
not seldom that things in the reception room were found missing after 
they had left. In other words, they were the 'rag-picker-wearing- 
frockcoat' sort of men." l After the Japan-China War, however, the 
tone of reporters improved, and the attitude of the general public toward 
them changed. At present the majority of reporters are college gradu- 
ates, and in both character and ability many of them are not inferior 
to the editorial writers. 

Journalism in Japan has made it possible for many capable men to 
make themselves known to the public, and therefore brought into 
public life. In the earlier period, when editorial writers were paid 
exorbitant salaries and were highly respected by everyone, a large num- 
ber of young men entered the newspaper field and later distin- 
guished themselves politically as well as socially. For instance, Ki 
Inukai, the leader of the Kokuminto (Nationalist party) and once the 

1 Ki Inukai, the Daigaku Hyoron, August, 1917, pp. 76-77. 


Minister of Education; and Katsundo Minoura and Yukio Ozaki, the 
stars of the Kenseikai (Constitutional party), and many times state 
ministers, were all journalists on the Hochi. Viscount Takaaki Kato, 
the leader of the Kenseikai, who has been many times an ambassador 
and member of the Imperial Cabinet, was the president of the Tokyo 
NicM-nicM. Gijin Okuta, the late mayor of Tokyo, once a vice-minister 
as well as the president of the Bureau of Legislation, was a writer of the 
Meiji Shimpo. Saburo Shimada, a star of the Kenseikai party and ex- 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, was for many years editor- 
in-chief of the Nichi-nichi. Seiji Hayakawa, the ex-vice-Speaker of 
the House of Representatives, and Tokitoshi Taketomi, ex-Minister 
of Finance, are also ex-journalists. Marquis Saionji, twice premier and 
recently the chief delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, Masahisa 
Matsuda, late Viscount Munemitsu Mutsu, Viscount Miyoji Ito, and 
many other distinguished statesmen are former journalists* Takashi 
Hara, the leader of the Seiyukai party and now the premier, was first a 
writer of the Hochi and later the editor-in-chief of the Osaka Mainichi 
and the Osaka Shimpo. In the business circle, Hikojiro Nakakamigawa 
and many other prominent men were under the tutelage of the late 
Yukichi Fukuzawa. In the literary world there are large numbers 
of ex- journalists; and among well-known men of letters there is almost 
none who has had no journalistic experience. Therefore it may be 
said that journalism has been a stepping-stone to the success of many 
capable men, and a test of their capacity. 


By the Constitution of 1890 the people of Japan secured the right 
of freedom of discussion. Article Twenty-nine of the Constitution 
says, "A subject of Japan is guaranteed freedom of speech in publica- 
tion, printing, assemblage, and association within the scope of the law/' 
In practice, however, strict laws were applied, and freedom "within 
the scope of the law" has been extremely narrowed. Laws, decrees, 
and orders controlled the press. Since power to suspend publica- 
tion of newspapers and periodicals was given to the Administrative 
Department, and since there were old despotic laws such as the 



"laws applied to the acts of people Insulting officials" (Kanri Bujoku- 
zai), newspapers suffered frequent prosecutions. After the Japan- 
China War, at the time of the "Three States' Intervention/ 3 almost 
all the newspapers in the country, except a few government organs, 
were suspended; aad many journalists who had insulted policemen or 
other petty officials were imprisoned. At present the suspension of 
publication and prosecution of journalists on these grounds are not 
practiced, but there are other grounds such as "endangering foreign 
relations/' "disturbance of social order/' and "deleterious effect upon 
public morals/' etc., the interpretation of which depends upon the 







Cases at 
Law Courts 









*1914 ,. 







1915 . 

* Cases regarding diplomatic and military affairs were increased in 1914 on account of the European 

The existing Press Law was drafted by Cho Shimizu, professor of 
constitutional law at the College for Peers, on May 6, 1909. This law 
is simply a modification of the old Press Law, and is still too rigid, con- 
taining such regulations as Article 21, which provides for the treatment 
of news concerning crimes; Article 23, which gives excessive power to 
the Minister of the Interior as to matters of "peace, order, and good 
customs' 7 ; Article 27, which allows for the suppression of the freedom 
of the press by the Minister of War and the Minister of Navy; and 
the enumeration of severe corporal punishments as penalties. No 
movements to revise these articles have succeeded. At present it is 
impossible to punish an editor or publisher except through the courts, 
although tmtil 1897 the Minister of the Interior was allowed to judge 
and punish the violators of both laws and ordinances. 

1 Japan Year Book, 1917, p. 316. 



The censorship of all publications is in the hands of the Police Bureau 
under the control of the Department of the Interior. All matters which 
are dangerous morally or politically anarchy, socialism, etc. are 
censored. In war time, military and diplomatic matters are carefully 
watched. Of Maupassant, Flaubert, and other French writers, only 
the originals are allowed on the market, a precaution to safeguard the 
morals of the masses, 






Cases at 


















*The right of issuing almanacs is solely reserved for the Office of the Great Shrine of Ise. 

Recently the editorial has lost its prestige to news and fiction articles. 
Since education has become more general, people wish to have facts 
presented to them from which they may form their own opinions. 
Furthermore, political matters are no longer the supreme problems. 
For the last four or five years social problems, and particularly labor 
problems, have been given considerable space in editorials, news, and 
special articles. 

1 Japan Year Book, 1917, p. 316. 




A result of the rise of independent journals with their accurate 
news and fair interpretations of current problems was the growth of 
the power of public opinion. 

As long as newspapers are factional organs and their news and edi- 
torials biased, their circulation will be small. Man, by nature, is more 
interested in actual facts, though they are adverse to his own interests, 
than doubtful information regarding these facts. Politics is no excep- 
tion to this rule, and a prejudiced party organ cannot satisfy even a 
strongly partisan mind. A newspaper must give an accurate report 
of facts and a fair interpretation of problems to interest the public. 
As soon as the newspapers became independent after the Japan-China 
War, their circulation began to increase, and with it the extent and 
growth of public opinion. In the pre journalistic period, i.e. the period 
before the Restoration of 1868, public opinion in Japan was limited 
to the officials and educated samurai class. Public opinion after 1868 
and until 1895 was formed by politicians and well-educated upper classes, 
both of whom together numbered only a few million. But, after 1895; 
due to the rise of independent journals with their enormous increase in 
circulation, that portion of the population which participated in the 
formation of public opinion was extended far down to the middle class ; 
and, consequently, became much more active in the control of public 
affairs than it had been. 

On the one hand the Japan-China War brought to the people a 
consciousness of the fact that they themselves were the motor power 
of national life; they knew they had fought China by sacrificing their 
blood and their money, and that the war was not won either by the 
government or the authorities alone. The masses became more and 
more informed as to public affairs, and more and more able to form 


opinions regarding them. This was a step farther toward the growth 
of democracy. The political incidents presented in this chapter will 
show how these changes came about. 

The Sho-Wai Cabinet (Matsukata and Okuma Cabinet) which 
succeeded the Ito Cabinet proclaimed its administrative policy on 
September 18, 1896, and pledged itself to secure the constitutional 
guaranty of freedom of discussion, of assemblage, and of association. 
The public rejoiced at this popular administrative policy of the new 
ministry, and looked forward to great progress in liberalism in Japan. 
But soon a blunder was made by the government. 

The Twenty-sixth Century, a political magazine, exposed some dark 
transactions which took place between the Minister of the Imperial 
Household Hijikata and former Premier Ito. Ito had already been 
accused of using the Emperor's name and Privy Seal in politics, and 
the report spread through the Nippon and other Tokyo newspapers. 
Hijikata and Ito used every craft and influence they possessed to check 
the dangerous agitation against them. They stirred up jingoes and 
fanatic imperialists in their behalf on the ground that such a publication 
was an infringement of the inviolable dignity of the imperial family, and 
should have been dealt with accordingly. Lese majeste is, indeed, an 
indisputable crime in the mind of the majority of the Japanese people. 
The people, who were long trained to the idea of divine sacredness of the 
monarch, were most readily aroused. Attacks on the government grew 
so serious that it became necessary to suppress the publication of the 
Twenty-sixth Century, Nippon, and all other papers which had reprinted 
the articles. Thus the new government, pledged to permit freedom, of 
discussion, had to break its newly formed precedent. 

This mishap precipitated a better turn in the development of Japanese 
journalism. The government itself now presented a bill for the revision 
of the Press Law in the tenth session of the Diet. This time the pressure 
of public opinion so strongly manifested itself that the bill was easily 
passed not only by the Lower House but by the Upper House, which had 
customarily rejected it. The power to suspend newspaper publications 
was transferred from the Administrative to the Judicial Department. 
The former retains the power to prohibit (not to suspend) publication 


in limited cases only. This power of suspension was one of the mightiest 
political weapons the clan government possessed for prolonging its 
own existence. Its statesmen, therefore, opposed the abolition of their 
power, and the House of Peers, which was controlled by members of 
the Cabinet and elder statesmen, were also opposed to the free- 
dom of the press. Now Okuma, however, the principal figure of the 
new cabinet, and the strongest opponent of the clan government, 
willingly approved the revision; and a step toward democracy was made. 

Okuma found opposition to his liberal ideas in the Sho-Wai Cabinet. 
The Satsuma Clan which was accustomed to rule with an iron hand 
made up the majority of the ministry. The democratic policy which 
was proclaimed at the beginning of the administration was due solely 
to Okuma. Occasional conflicts between him and the other members 
of the Cabinet were inevitable, but these grew more and more serious 
until they culminated in his resignation. Then the Progressive party, 
of which Okuma was the leader, severed relations with the government, 
and many officials who were Okuma's adherents resigned their posts. 
Even the Kokumin Kyokai (Nationalists' League), hitherto a semi- 
government party, began to attack the clan statesmen's despotic policies. 

The United Journalists' Association then called a great meeting and 
issued a manifesto to assemble their sympathizers. To this almost all the 
influential journalists of the country at once responded, and both newspa- 
pers and periodicals began a ferocious attack upon the government. The 
meeting of the United Journalists' Association passed the following 

We consider that the practices of the present government violate the 
principle and the spirit of the Constitution, and therefore we wish to compel 
it to resign by our strongly united oppositions. Furthermore, in order to 
maintain clean politics among the statesmen we shall vigorously attack all 
the " backsliders 7 ' of the Diet, and thus expect to make social control clear 
and effective. 

Until this time the so-called journalists' associations had always been 
more or less tinted with partisan colors, but on this occasion large 
numbers of strictly non-partisan presses joined the movement and aided 
the formation of a strong public opinion. In the House of Representa- 


lives a non-confidence resolution was introduced and would have been 
passed by an overwhelming majority, when an imperial command to 
dissolve the Diet reached the Assembly Hall The government now lost 
a large number of its supporters for the coming election, and the entire 
Cabinet resigned soon after the dissolution of the Diet. Thus the 
strength of the press and the power of the masses in political affairs 
were distinctly proved. 

It had only been one and a half years since the League of Three 
European States forced Japan to return Liaotung Peninsula to China 
In order to "secure future peace in the Far East." These three states 
had been eagerly planning the exploitation of China. In the fall of 1897 
two German missionaries were killed by a mob in Shantung province. 
Taking this opportunity, Germany dispatched a fleet to occupy Kiao- 
chau. She forced China to pay a large indemnity and to give her 
Kiao-chau for ninety-nine years together with the additional right of 
establishing railroads and of operating mines in the entire province of 
Shantung. In December of the same year Russia also dispatched a 
fleet without any cause and occupied Port Arthur and Talien. She 
obtained control of Liaotung Peninsula for the next twenty-five years 
and also other railroad and mining concessions in Manchuria on exactly 
the same terms as those of Germany. To check this Russian invasion, 
England obtained a similar concession at Weihaiwei. France, the last 
of the Three States' League, did not hesitate to get a lion's share, and 
she obtained a concession of Kwanchu Bay for twenty-five years includ- 
ing railroad and mining rights in Southern China. Thus the Liaotung 
Peninsula became Russian territory. 

The people of Japan were furious with indignation, but the govern- 
ment made no protest against the Western invaders. Political parties 
and journalists began an attack on the grounds of the inefficient diplo- 
macy of the government, and even Jiyuto, then a semi-government party 
and the largest one among all the parties, refused its further support- 
The government bill to increase taxes was unanimously defeated in the 
House of Representatives. The tax-increase bill was the most important 
of this session, for the government had many post-war expenditures to 
settle. Premier Ito made a fiery speech in the Assembly HaU for the 


budget, pledging himself to take every responsibility In the matter. In 
spite of all his efforts the government party was defeated in the House, 
without hope for further compromise. The customary imperial com- 
mand was then served and the Diet was dissolved on June 10, 1898. 
National indignation against European invaders was now so strong that 
this high-handed measure of the government was simply adding fuel to 
the fire. The situation became uncontrollable. The Liberals, which 
had always been a government party, and the Progressives, its strongest 
opponent, agreed to co-operate in exterminating the clan's foothold in 
state affairs. Twelve days after the dissolution of the Diet, they united 
and organized the Kenseito (Constitutional party), a formidable new 
party, of which Marquis Okuma, the Progressive champion, and Count 
Itagaki, the Liberal leader, became the central figures. A determined 
fight against the clan government which had ignored public opinion 

Premier Ito tried to organize a clan party, but he was vigorously 
opposed by all the elder statesmen, namely, Yamagata, Saigo (brother of 
the Great Saigo), Oyama, Kuroda, and Inouye, all of whom believed that 
to found a government on a party basis was against the national consti- 
tution of Japan. Yamagata became Ito's bitterest opponent. Ito lost 
his courage, and the entire Cabinet resigned on June 25, 1898. 

It had always been customary for the Premier to recommend to the 
Throne a clan statesman as his successor. Ito, however, boldly broke 
this .precedent, because he knew that if a clan man were chosen at that 
time it would be Yamagata. He therefore recommended Okuma and 
Itagaki, the two most prominent Liberal leaders, by whose opposition 
he was obliged to resign. Ashamed and discouraged, Prince Ito begged 
the Emperor to return his title of nobility and other orders of merit and 
honors, and became a strong advocate of party government. 

The successor of the Ito Ministry was the First Okuma Cabinet with 
Okuma as Premier and Foreign Minister, and Itagaki as Minister of the 
Interior. It was organized January 30, 1898. This was the first 
government which was not established under the clan influence. The 
public welcomed the new government with enthusiasm and hope. But 
unfortunately the two factions of the old Liberals and Progressives, who 


had recently united, began to dispute about the distribution of cabinet 
chairs among them. A split appeared in the new party and the party 
government ended with a sad experience after only five months. This 
factional strife gave the best opportunity to clan statesmen to regain 
their influence, and the Second Yamagata Cabinet came into existence. 
The buds of the democratic form of government thus were trampled to 
pieces before they had opened. Yamagata had greatly feared the 
entrance of the party element into the government. He is a sincere, 
hard-headed, conservative military man (he is Marshal) and holds dog- 
matic views in favor of a pure bureaucracy. 

The Second Yamagata Cabinet promulgated a civil-service act by an . 
imperial ordinance to keep party men from getting into office through 
"pull." As long as Yamagata was premier no party men were to be 
admitted to the Cabinet. Just about this time Ito, who recently had 
been converted to the party government, was planning to organize a 
new party. Ito was always very liberal in Ms attitude toward outsiders 
and was therefore not so detested by party men as was Yamagata. 
Many members of the struggling Kenseito deserted that party and 
gathered under Ito's new standard, and, with many other elements, 
organized a large new party, the Seiyukai, September 15, 1900. This was 
a great blow to the Yamagata Cabinet, because it could not expect to 
obtain the further support of the Lower House. So Yamagata resigned, 
and was succeeded by the Fourth Ito Ministry in October of that year. 

While the Second Yamagata Cabinet was still in power, Toru Hoshi, 
a member of the old Kenseito party, who had been in America making 
a careful observation of the methods of Tammany Hall, and had become 
convinced of its efficiency, began to work out that system, especially 
that of the "Tweed Ring/' in Japan* The first experiment was made in 
the municipal governments of Tokyo, Yokohama, and Hakodate. It 
worked wonderfully well and soon sinister transactions between party 
politicians and large business interests became a common practice all 
over the country in both national and local politics. The cry of political 
corruption was raised loudly among the reformers. But the Yamagata 
government ignored these evil practices, because, though its premier 
was anti-party, it wanted the support of the great Kenseito, of which 


Hosti was a leader. Thus in the thirteenth session of the Diet the 
Yamagata government succeeded in getting its large budget passed, 
which all the previous cabinets had failed to do. 

On the other hand, however, Hoshi got control of the municipal 
government of Tokyo; and from the mayor down to the petty clerks the 
city hall was filled with his party denizens, and bribe-taking, fraud, mis- 
appropriation, conspiracy with business interests, and all sorts of in- 
trigues were freely committed. Many corruptions were exposed, and 
the attacks by newspapers and reformers grew violent. At this time the 
Yamagata Cabinet resigned, and Hoshi, having joined the Seiyukai, became 
Minister of Communication of the new Ito Cabinet. Now public denun- 
ciation against Hoshi grew so strong that one hundred members of the 
House of Peers jointly requested Ito to dismiss Hoshi from office. It is 
said that when Ito requested him to resign, Hoshi, who previously had 
established a reputation by refusing to resign the speakership, again 
refused to do so until he had obtained Ito's secret promise not to prose- 
cute Mm. Whether this charge is true or not, he was not prosecuted, and 
becoming a member of the city council of Tokyo he kept his "Tammany 
Hall" machine effectively working with a gang of Seiyukai partisans. 
The attacks on him by political opponents, newspapers, and reformers 
grew more bitter every day, and everyone lamented the degeneration in 
political morality. 

On June 21, 1902, Hoshi was stabbed to death with a dagger by 
Sotaro Iba, a scholar and a celebrated swordsman, who sacrificed him- 
self to stem the tide of political corruption. Iba was given a life sentence 
and later died in prison. It is generally believed that the attacks against 
Hoshi and his associates made by the serial articles of Saburo Shimada, 
then the editor of \h&Mainichi Shimbun^as the direct cause of this assas- 
sination. At any rg-te it was clearly the power of the newspaper that 
precipitated the fall of Hoshi and his confederates at that time. This 
incident had a disciplinary effect upon HoshFs party men and the Japa- 
nese " Tammany Hall.' 3 

The Ito Cabinet, of which Hoshi was Minister of Communication, 
lost the confidence of the public through its laxness in discipline and 
unrestrained play of partisan politics by the members of the Seiyukai. 


The Cabinet provoked the strong opposition of the House of Peers, and 
on May 5, 1901, it was obliged to resign, and the First Katsura Ministry 
was organized as its successor. 

Since the occupation of Liaotung Peninsula, the Russian invasion 
both in China and Korea became more and more aggressive in violation 
of treaties and agreements, Russia was recklessly extending her mili- 
tary power into the Far East. At this period the principal aim of Japan 
was merely to make Korea the neutral zone between the two states, 
Japan and Russia, not to annex it. Japan realized the danger to her 
national existence in the Russian aggression. The latter had been a 
constant intruder upon her rights since the latter part of the eighteenth 
century; a part of her former territories in the north had been snatched 
away while she was busy with internal strifes; and in addition she had 
been deprived of Liaotung Peninsula, the fruits of the Japan-China War. 
The Japanese people, with these facts in mind, were keeping suspicious 
eyes upon Russia's movements. It became apparent that the monstrous 
Northern Bear would be ferociously raving on their own land at any 
moment. It was indeed a matter of life and death. Furthermore, they 
thought that they should have preferential rights over Korea. They 
had freed her from Chinese domination, under which she had stood for 
the past several hundred years. 

A strong Russian army occupied Korea, and the size of her expedi- 
tionary force was increased. All protests made by Japan and several 
other states were ignored, and it seemed as though Japan did not exist 
in the Russian mind. The indignation of the Japanese people grew 
intense. Seven prominent professors of the Imperial University of 
Tokyo issued a manifesto advocating war against Russia. The Citizens' 
Union was organized with Prince Konoe, the Speaker of the House of 
Peers, as its president, and announced that a declaration of war against 
Russia should not be delayed one moment. The Anti-Russian People's 
League was established and co-operated with all other similar organiza- 
tions. Newspapers and magazines, with the exception of the govern- 
ment organs, vigorously propagated a war spirit. Every day many 
mass meetings were held and resolutions were passed requesting the 
government to declare war at once. The whole country was filled with 


a loud clamor for war. Amidst this public excitement the government 
maintained, a calm and unconcerned attitude. The Russian govern- 
ment began to make various demonstrations for the purpose of intimi- 
dating Japan. Negotiation after negotiation met with the most 
supercilious replies from Russia. Representatives of many patriotic 
organizations and members of the Diet called at Premier Katsura's 
office to induce him to take the final step. 

Both the Seiyukai and the Kenseihonto, the two largest political parties 
at that time, agreed to stand firmly together to impeach the government 
on this diplomatic problem in the approaching Diet. The whole atmos- 
phere of the country became extremely tense. The nineteenth session 
of the Imperial Diet was convoked on December 5, 1903. Its opening 
ceremony was held and the customary imperial message was read to the 
House. Then the Chief Secretary of the House of Representatives gave 
two copies of the reply to the Throne to Speaker Kono. Instead of 
reading those copies, however, Kono pulled out a draft, prepared by him- 
self, from his pocket, and read it aloud to the House. This was an 
extraordinary incident. The time-honored practice of the House was 
that the Speaker should read the draft which was made by the Chief 
Secretary, and make a reply which was merely a ceremonial address to 
His Majesty. Kono's draft was as follows: 

We are honored with Your Majesty's gracious message which you have 
so kindly given us with your presence; and now you grant us the opportunity 
to hold this grand ceremony of the opening of the nineteenth session of the 
Diet. We have been deeply moved by Your Majesty's grace. 

In this time of unprecedented national uprising, the administration of 
our Cabinet Ministers does not please the national demand of the time. In- 
ternal policies are simply base4 on temporary remedial works, and oppor- 
tunities are being missed in foreign diplomacy. We cannot help feeling the 
utmost anxiety for such misgovernment by our administration; and therefore 
we appeal to Your Majesty's wise judgment. 

We, the members of the House of Representatives, who are entrusted 
with the duty of assisting Your Majesty's state affairs, expect to be true to 
your gracious will above and the trust of the people below. 

Your humble subject Hironaka K.ono, the Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, most respectfully presents this reply to Your Majesty. 


This was apparently an impeachment of the government instead of 
a ceremonial address. The House immediately passed it by a unani- 
mous vote amidst deafening handclappings. Kono was at once ready 
to leave the Diet building to present this reply to the Emperor; but just 
before he started, an imperial message commanding the House to post- 
pone his visit to the palace, was served. Not being discouraged by this 
reverse, Kono planned to present the address through the hands of the 
Minister of the Imperial Household, but this second attempt was blocked 
by the imperial message to dissolve the Diet. Thus the Nineteenth 
Diet was closed before any discussion was started. Kono was in an 
embarrassing situation now, and in order to center the responsibility on 
himself he left his party, confined himself to his home, and took no part 
in politics for several years. 

Although the Imperial Diet was thus forcibly silenced the attitude 
of the public grew more intense, and memorial after memorial poured 
into the Imperial Court from political parties and various organizations. 
Even the women and the children could see the outcome. Public senti- 
ment was in mad fury against Russia. Unusual activities in authori- 
tative circles became apparent: meetings of the elder statesmen; frequent 
calls of the cabinet members at the imperial palace; special meet- 
ings of the privy councils and of high military officials; issue of 
an emergency imperial ordinance to meet the extraordinary disburse- 
ments for railroad and military expenditures; the ministerial order 
to put all newspapers and periodicals under military censorship, etc. 
Everything clearly indicated that the government which had kept so 
cool and aloof was preparing for war. Russia still disregarded the 
activities in Japan. She believed if little Japan should ever appeal 
to force of arms, the matter could be easily settled in a few 

When the note sent by the Japanese government to Russia, requesting 
the withdrawal of the Russian* force in Korea, was left unanswered for 
twenty-three days, in spite of four pressing requests made for a reply 
during that time, the foreign department notified Russia of the break 
of diplomatic relations, and three days after began a naval attack on 
the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. 


The greatest mistake made by Russia was in utterly disregarding 
and miscalculating the influence of public opinion in Japan and in judging 
the whole matter simply by the cautious diplomacy of the government. 
Although the government was based upon bureaucratic principles 
the power of public opinion in Japan at this time had made such 
great progress that, once aroused, the government could not withstand 
its pressure. 

The war having started, internal dispute completely disappeared just 
as at the time of the Japan-China War. There was co-operation among 
all factions in the state with two exceptions: the Russian spy case and 
the case of France's violation of neutrality. 

During the war general elections were held most peacefully, and the 
twentieth session of the Diet ended with but one dispute the spy 
problem. Teisuke Akiyama, a prominent member of the House of 
Representatives, was suspected of being a Russian spy, because the 
NirokUj of which he was the editor, published an article regarding the 
conclusion of a "Russo-Japanese treaty" which did not exist. No other 
Japanese or foreign newspaper had obtained any information of such a 
treaty except the pro-Russian Chinese newspapers published in Peking, 
which had published the same news on the same day as that of the 
Niroku* The Niroku had also attacked the government because of the 
new war loan with an editorial entitled " Impeach Our Government," 
stating that such a loan policy would simply incite cheap chauvinism. 
After a special House investigation, however, no evidence against Aki- 
yama was discovered, but he was asked to resign from the House. This 
was a rather conspicuous case because Akiyama was considered one of 
the most prominent journalists and statesmen of the country. He was 
held in suspicion for some time after, 

The second case was the violation of neutrality by France, The 
Russian Baltic fleet on its way to Asia was given harbor at various 
French ports for a much longer period than twenty-four hours, which is 
the maximum limit recognized by international law. Regardless of the 
urgent requests repeatedly made to France by the Japanese government 
to observe her neutrality obligation more strictly, the French govern- 
ment permitted the Russian fleet to remain in her African and Asiatic 


colonial ports for two or, three weeks at a time and gave it all sorts of 
conveniences which are against international law. The people of Japan 
naturally were indignant, and in the twenty-first session of the Diet the 
two largest political parties, the Kenseihonto and the Seiyukai, passed a 
resolution requesting the government to break diplomatic relations with 
France and to ask Great Britain, then Japan's ally, to come to her aid 
according to the terms of the Anglo- Japanese treaty. The situation was 
growing serious when a satisfactory reply was given by France, and the 
crisis was passed. 

The Katsura Cabinet survived a stormy five years' administration. 
Its irresolute diplomatic attitude toward Russia invited the attack of all 
political parties and the general public. But, when war was once 
declared, and news of victories continued, the prestige and popularity 
of the government increased day by day. Then adverse news of the 
peace negotiations in Portsmouth began to reach home, and the news- 
papers at once began agitations against the conclusion of an early peace. 
On September 5, 1905, the day on which the peace treaty was signed at 
Portsmouth, a great mass meeting was called at Hibiya Park, Tokyo; 
and before the time set for the meeting an enormous number of people 
had gathered, waving in the air banners with various inscriptions. The 
Metropolitan Police Board had built stockades at all the entrances of the 
park to keep the crowd from entering, but several members of the city 
council of Toyko forced the police away and, climbing over the stock- 
ade, opened one of the gates. The park was at once flooded with the 
crowd. Propaganda speeches were made by many agitators, and the 
mob was aroused to a furious mood. 

After the meeting at Hibiya Park had been closed, the same crowd 
marched to the Shintomiza theater to participate in another mass 
meeting. This was again checked by the police force after a sharp 
conflict. The people now became riotous. They attacked and did 
great damage to the building of the Kokumin Shimbun (Nationalists* 
News), a government organ, after an encounter with the police. The 
rioting spread all over the city. The building of the Department of the 
Interior was set afire, and other government buildings were in danger 
of destruction. A bloody conflict between the police and the rioters 


continued. The Imperial Guard Infantry was at last dispatched to 
guard all the government buildings and mansions of the state ministers. 
When the darkness of night came, the rioters marched through the 
streets with missiles, clubs, and naked swords, and the police stations 
were systematically attacked and burned down one after another all 
through the night. The whole city of Tokyo became illuminated with 
the reflection of the fires. The size of the mob so enormously increased 
that neither police nor soldiers could control them, and this chaotic 
condition lasted two days. 

Martial law was at last proclaimed, and rigid censorship was put on 
all newspapers and periodicals, prohibiting them from publishing any 
articles dangerous to the situation. These rules remained in force for 
three months. One hundred and forty-one police stations and substations, 
ten churches, and twenty-eight other buildings had been burned down. 
There were 558 casualties on the side of the people and 471 among the 
officers. A few days after this incident, both the Minister of the Interior 
and the Superintendent- General of the Police resigned, assuming per- 
sonal responsibility for their failure to keep order in the capital. 

Before the conclusion of peace, Dr. Kanjin Tomizu, professor of 
Roman Law at the Tokyo Imperial University, gave a vigorous dis- 
sertation on the terms of peace and the weak diplomacy of the govern- 
ment. Thereupon the Minister of Education, Kubota, issued an order 
to university professors that, since they had such great influence upon 
the public, no discussion should be held by them imprudently. Dr. 
Tomizu, however, in utter disregard, continued his public discussions 
more vigorously than before. On August 24 Minister Kubota expelled 
Mm from the university. This official action provoked the indignation 
of all the professors of the College of Law, and with joint signatures they 
presented a protest against the minister, requesting an immediate 
restoration of Dr. Tomizu's office. When this request was refused, 
Dr. Kenjiro Yamakawa, president of the Imperial University, resigned 
himself, and hired Dr. Tomizu as a special lecturer of the law school at 
his own discretion. M. Matsui was appointed by the government as 
the successor of Yamakawa. In protest to this official measure all the 
prqfessors of the law school unanimously presented petitions for their 


resignations. This action was approved by the faculties of the Kyoto 
Imperial University. General attacks by the intellectuals against the 
government's control of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of dis- 
cussion grew very bitter. The independence and dignity of the highest 
learning of the state were being trampled by layman officials. Both the 
newly appointed president of the university and the Minister of Educa- 
tion resigned their offices, and the trouble was ended. A little later, 
when the Katsura Ministry fell, Dr. Tomizu again resumed his chair in 
the law school, and moreover was elected to the House of Representatives. 

The conclusion of peace on unpopular terms and the subsequent 
rioting put the Katsura Ministry into a very difficult situation. The 
combined attacks of political parties and newspapers made its further 
existence impossible. The sympathy of the public had entirely dis- 
appeared. The Cabinet resigned on January 7, 1906, just before the 
opening of the spring session of the Diet, in which it was destined to 
be sharply censured. The First Saionji Cabinet was organized as its 

During this period, due to the increase of newspaper circulation, 
public opinion, which had heretofore been an expression only of the 
upper classes, was extended far down into the middle classes. On the 
other hand, however, as a result of the Japan-China War, nationalism, 
which had been growing steadily, became more intensified and began 
to take the form of an imperialistic nationalism, a trend that was pre- 
dominating in the world at that time. The result was the Russo- 
Japanese War. This war was not due to the minority opinion of the 
dominating militaristic class, but to the strong public opinion created 
through the press. The nation as a whole was strongly unified during 
that international strife. 


Great wars have generally marked new epochs in the political trend 
of modern Japan. The civil war of the Restoration of 1868 marked the 
transition from feudalism to the centralized empire; Saigo's civil war 
of 1877 showed the value of public discussion and co-operation in politics 
as opposed to force; the Japan-China War of 1894-95 was a landmark 
between the age in which only the upper classes participated in the 
formation of public opinion and the age in which the middle class began 
to exercise an influence; after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 the 
sphere of political activity was extended to include a great majority of 
the lower classes; and finally the Great War brought to the public a 
consciousness of the significance of liberty and equality of individuals as 
well as of nations and states. In the development of each of these new 
epochs the development of the means of communication, especially those 
by speech and publicity, played a great r61e. The number of people 
who participated, therefore, either directly or indirectly, in public affairs, 
increased year by year. Due to the rise of independent newspapers 
and the increased size of the reading public after the Japan-China War, 
the awakening of the masses regarding public affairs was remarkable. 
It was the Russo-Japanese War, however, that brought the lower classes 
to realization. Impelled by the general education and increase of wealth 
among all classes about this time, and stimulated by the war news, the 
lower class began to read the newspapers. The result was a general 
political awakening of the masses, and a decline in the power of clan 
statesmen, militarists, and bureaucrats. 

After the Russo-Japanese War the state expense increased enor- 
mously. It was to be met by taxation and public loans, but the people 
had been overtaxed for many years, and a protest against the new tax 
was raised by business men. A strong anti-tax agitation arose through- 
out the country, and, to further it, on January 21, 1906, the representa- 



tives of a large number of chambers of commerce met In Tokyo and 
resolved to call a joint meeting of the representatives of all chambers of 
commerce and industrial and commercial associations of the country. 
In Old Japan business men had ranked at the bottom of the social scale, 
and had no right to take part in politics. Although their social position 
had been made equal to that of other classes by the Restoration of Meiji, 
such initiative on their part was wholly unprecedented and was indicative 
of the general awakening of the people. 

Surprised by this organized opposition, Minister of Agriculture and 
Commerce K. Matsuoka warned the protesting representatives that 
such activities were violations of the laws which regulate the chambers of 
commerce. The agitation grew stronger, however, and had considerable 
effect upon public opinion. Finally the government, through the Seiyukai, 
the government party which formed the majority in the Lower House, 
hastily passed the new taxation bill on February 4, the day just preceding 
the date set by the business men for their great national meeting. On 
February 5 the business men's meeting was held in Tokyo, and delegates 
from three hundred and sixty-five chambers of commerce and business 
associations unanimously passed the following resolution: 

We believe it to be the most urgent necessity of today that our government 
shall seek the economic development of the people, who are the foundation of 
the state, and that by reforming the system of taxation it shall cultivate the 
strength of the people. 

Therefore, we consider the government's policy to raise new taxes at this 
time is a great hindrance to the development of national fortune and an 
injury to national industry. We resolve that no person who acts contrary 
to this above-stated opinion shall be elected hereafter to the House of Repre- 

In the following election the activities of the business men proved 
effective, and about fifty of their candidates were elected. Although 
the government party still held a plurality in the House, financial 
difficulties forced the First Saionji Cabinet to resign July, 1908, It was 
succeeded by the Second Katsura Ministry, 

The Second Katsura Cabinet, by skilful adjustment of national 
finances and clever maneuvering of the political parties, though it was a 


bureaucratic cabinet, survived a comparatively uneventful life of four 
years. In the general election of 1908 the Seiyukai secured, for the 
first time in the history of party politics in Japan, a majority in the 
House. Party politicians were tired of the stormy sessions and dis- 
solutions of the House, which had been almost a customary method in 
the parliamentary practice of Japan; and therefore when Premier Kat- 
sura offered an opportunity of forming an entente, the Seiyukai, the 
majority party, gladly accepted it. The other minor parties, of course, 
could have no effect upon the general situation of the House. Everyone, 
however, soon grew weary of such artificial tranquillity, and the Second 
Saionji Ministry succeeded the Katsura Cabinet in August, 1911. 

Marquis Saionji, contrary to his predecessor, tried to comply with 
the popular request for lighter taxes. The military element, however, 
insisted on the necessity for an improved national defense which called 
for an enormous expenditure. The Minister of War strongly opposed 
the Premier's financial policy, and the latter could not carry out his plan. 
He resigned in December, 1913, and Prince Katsura succeeded him for 
the third term of his premiership. 

The great expense of the Russo-Japanese War put a very heavy 
burden upon the people of Japan, because no indemnity was obtained 
from Russia as had been anticipated. On the other hand, national 
industry was not growing rapidly enough to make up the war-time 
deficiencies. The people began to cry for tax reduction, asking the 
government to give them a better opportunity for industrial and com- 
mercial development, instead of constantly increasing the military 
strength, for which no immediate necessity could be seen. 

Prince Katsura, the premier of the new cabinet, was a bureaucratic 
statesman and a general in the army. His sympathies were naturally 
with the military party. At that time he was also the Grand Chamber- 
lain and the Keeper of the Privy Seal and was suspected of using the 
imperial tutorage in the play of politics. This suspicion was intensified 
each time he forced the support of the Diet with the imperial command. 
His political opponents and the majority of the newspapers groused 
agitations among the people, who were at last sure that Katsura and the 
elder statesmen were making use of the Emperor's name in working out 


their autocratic politics. In the thirtieth session of the Diet, Yukio 
Ozaki introduced a non-confidence resolution, which was passed by a 
great majority in spite of the imperial message advising the House to 
co-operate with the Cabinet. The opposing representatives in the House 
were assaulted by an excited crowd when they came out of the Diet. 
The more imperial orders were issued, the stronger the antagonism of 
the House and the excitement of the public grew, because it was firmly 
believed that the young emperor was being deceived by Premier Kat- 
sura's smooth tongue, Katsura was accused of "wantonly issuing the 
imperial command and diminishing the imperial dignity thereby." 

Both the Diet and the newspapers strongly requested the immediate 
resignation of the Katsura Ministry. When it did not promptly comply 
with that popular request, political riots were started in Tokyo and else- 
where. The following extract from the Independent gives a clear view 
of the riots: 

During the week Japan has seen such riots in her capital and elsewhere 
as characterized the news of the Treaty of Portsmouth. The opposition not of 
the Diet only, but of the whole country, forced the resignation of Prince 
Katsura as premier, with his cabinet. He had persuaded the Emperor to 
request the Diet to rescind its vote of want of confidence, but this they refused 
to do. This refusal was, for Japan, a very extraordinary and almost revolu- 
tionary act. It indicated that the will of the Cabinet, even supported by the 
reverence paid to the Emperor, could not be allowed to overthrow the will of 
the people; that it is the people that rule through their Diet, and not the 
Emperor nor the oligarchy of elder statesmen. 

When Prince Katsura and his cabinet presented their resignation they 
were actually stoned by a mob in the streets, and the unruly crowd attacked 
the offices of newspapers which had supported the ministry and attempted 
to set them on fire. The police and gendarmes drew their swords, and many 
were wounded and six were killed, and the military was called out to protect 
the residences of Prince Katsura and his cabinet. The Diet was adjourned for 
three days, but was not dissolved, as Katsura had desired. (One of his cab- 
inet members strongly opposed the dissolution lest there should be a more 
serious outcome.) 

Peace has been restored by the appointment as premier of Count Yama- 
moto. 1 

1 The Independent, February 20, 1913, pp. 429-30. 


The following is an extract from the Outlook: 

On the eleventh (February) Prince Katsura was stoned by a mob in the 
streets, and a few hours later, after a great mass-meeting in Hibiya Park, a 
crowd of rioters marched to the residence of the premier with the intention of 
wrecking it. When, after a sharp skirmish, they were driven away by the 
police, they surrounded the office of the Kokumin Shiwibun, a newspaper 
which supported the Ministry, and attempted to set fire to it with bundles of 
kerosene-saturated straw. The employees of the paper defended themselves 
with firearms, and in the fighting that ensued two men were killed and a score 
or more were seriously wounded. Anti-government rioting soon became 
general, and resulted in the wrecking of police stations and the burning of 
street cars in various parts of the city. Troops were then called out; strong 
guards were placed around the houses of ministers and the offices of news- 
papers that supported the Katsura administration; and the Minister of the 
Imperial Household gave notice th'at, unless the disorder ceased, the Emperor 
would proclaim martial law. These repressive measures, together with the 
severely cold weather that happened to prevail, finally compelled the rioters, 
at a late hour of the night, to seek shelter. In the course of the day's fighting 
six men are said to have been killed and fifty or sixty wounded. The only 
other city in which political disturbances occurred was Osaka, where also the 
offices of government newspapers were attacked by mobs. As a result of these 
political demonstrations, and of the pressure brought to bear upon the gov- 
ernment, Prince Katsura resigned, and Count Gombei Yamamoto was directed 
by the Emperor to form a new ministry. 1 

Through this bitter experience, Prince Katsura, hitherto a militarist 
and a strong bureaucrat, learned a new lesson in his defeat by two large 
political parties, just as Prince Ito had. Soon after his resignation in 
February, 1913, Katsura began to spread propaganda for a new con- 
stitutional political party which would place the government on a liberal 
basis. In the same month, at the last hour of his life, he succeeded" in 
organizing the Doshikai (League of the Similarly Minded) party, which 
was later changed to the Kenseikai, one of the two largest political parties 
in Japan today. Although he discovered his mistaken idea of politics 
too late in life, Katsura was an honest and sincere military man; and 
his mistakes were committed unconsciously in spite of his intention to 

1 The Outlook, February 22, 1913, pp. 376-77. 


serve his country to a better end. Perhaps due to his excessive activity 
in political affairs, his health was seriously affected, and soon after the 
establishment of the Doshikai he died. 

As to the r61e of newspapers in political affairs, the following article 
of the Literary Digest gives us an interesting account: 

Consideration of the present turmoil in Japan (political riot under the 
Katsura Ministry) cannot proceed far without appreciation of the dawn of a 
new era in journalism. Organs of the old regime have been made to suffer at 
the hands of irate citizens, and the penalties attaching to subserviency have 
been made apparent. On the other hand, independent criticism of men and 
of parties never has flourished so vigorously and with so little regard for possible 
penal consequences. Even tho a conservative reaction were to follow after 
the recent unprecedented outburst of popular independence, it is not probable 
that conditions of censorship ever again will be as they were prior to recent 
epoch-making events. Public sentiment and opinion long suppressed having 
at last found vent, they will not submit to a return to a program of secrecy, 
either in domestic affairs or in foreign policy. Thus the outer world may be 
permitted to know much more about Japanese history than even foreigners 
have been permitted to tell of late years. 1 

After this political disturbance, the circulation of newspapers in 
Japan was increased 20 per cent, that is, 10 per cent less than the rate 
of increase at the time of the Russo-Japanese War. 

Under the Yamamoto Cabinet, the successor of the Katsura Min- 
istry, another sensational incident happened, and the power of the press 
and of public opinion was again well tested. This incident is called the 
"naval scandal case" or the "Siemens 'case." It happened in the spring 
of 1914. At that time the journalists had aroused public opinion so 
strongly against the government that the latter was at last destroyed, 
and Premier Count Yamamoto, the most influential personage in the 
naval circle and of the Satsuma Clan, was obliged to retire to a 
secluded life. 

Karl Richter, an employee of the Siemens & Schucket Company, 
stole the letters relating to briberies paid by that company to certain 
Japanese naval officials, and blackmailed the company for 25,000 yen. 
The latter refused to pay it. Then Richter, after making photographic 

1 The Literary Digest, March 1, 1913, p. 491. 


copies of the letters, sold the originals to Andrew M. Pooley, a Renter's 
agent in Yokohama, for 750 yen, and left for Germany. Hearing that 
Pooley was going to make the stolen letters public at Shanghai, the 
Siemens Company asked for the official aid of the naval department. 
Mr. Saito, the Minister of the Navy, refused it, saying that he wished 
the letters to be published because he believed there was no such in- 
famous officers in his department. He also reported the case to the 
Metropolitan Police Department. Later Richter was caught in Berlin, 
and his conviction telegraphed back to Japan. A full explanation of 
the case by the state ministers was requested by the Imperial Diet; 
and after a close investigation by both the judicial department and a 
special investigating committee, four officials in the naval department 
were convicted. 

This incident was a shock to the people of Japan, who could not 
imagine such things of their officers whom they considered unselfish 
patriots. Therefore a strong political agitation was started, and various 
mass meetings were held in Tokyo to arouse public opinion against the 
cabinet authorities. In the Imperial Diet the anti-government parties 
made a joint attack. From early morning of the day on which the non- 
confidence resolution was voted in the House, the excited crowd held a 
mass meeting in Hibiya Park, which is adjacent to the Assembly Hall; 
and after passing the resolution, "Our nation requests the House of 
Representatives to impeach the Cabinet/' they marched out of the park, 
and, surrounding the Diet building, made a vigorous demonstration to 
encourage the anti-government parties, who had been fighting all day. 
The impeachment bill was defeated by a plurality of forty-one votes, 
however, because the Seiyukai, the government party, formed a majority 
in the House. 

Hearing of the defeat of the bill, the crowd outside the Diet building 
grew dangerous. A battalion of armed soldiers and several hundred 
policemen were called at once, and the mob was subdued only after the 
steel gate of the Diet building had been wrecked. They marched from 
there to attack the buildings of the Cku-o and the Mainichi, organs 
of the government party, but this attempt and each subsequent one 
were checked by the strong government guard. 


The riot was now temporarily suppressed. At the first attempt on 
the building of the Chu~o, Hashimoto, a reporter of the Tokyo Nicki- 
nichij had been sabered by the police force while he was observing the 
progress of the riot. This incident aroused the indignation of his fellow- 
journalists. Although Hashimoto was in a hospital with a gash on his 
head, the Metropolitan Police Board denied any violence committed by 
their men. The representatives of all metropolitan newspapers and the 
news-gathering agencies, except three government organs Chu-o, Tokyo 
Mainichij and Tokyo Maiyu met at Seiyo-ken on February 14 and 
agreed on the following resolution; 

The fact that the police force have wounded an innocent reporter by 
their violent conduct endangers the mission of the journalists. Therefore we 
request the Minister of the Interior, who is officially responsible for this inci- 
dent, to express an apology in the form of a written letter. 

On February 16 twelve delegates, headed by Shuroku Kuroiwa, called 
on Mr. Hara, Minister of the Interior, and requested an apology. The 
latter refused an immediate reply, saying that there was some doubt as 
to the police violence according to the report of the police board; and 
that if it were true, he, the Minister of the Interior, was not responsible. 
The delegates extended the time limit for his reply until the next day, 
and at the time stated Mr. Oka, the director of the police bureau, came 
to the office of the Yorozu with the report that the Minister of the 
Interior sympathized with the injured reporter. Kuroiwa and Mat- 
suyama, the representatives of the journalists' association, however, de- 
nounced the letter he brought as unsatisfactory. On February 18 the 
representatives of all the newspapers and news-gathering agencies held 
another meeting, and passed the following resolution: 

It is atrocious that the Minister of the Interior avoided making a clear 
apology as a responsible person concerning the outrages committed by the 
police force. As to the fact that a reporter of the Tokyo Asahi was wounded 
*by his gate guards outside of his mansion, the minister concealed the facts and 
refused the responsibility. Therefore, we consider it proper to make him resign 
his office. We resolve that we shall resort to any means to accomplish this 
end; and shall hold a great conference of the delegates of all journals of the 
country on February 23; shall hold great mass-meetings; and also hold a 


special conference of the representatives of all associations, groups, and fac- 
tions in order to present a memorial to the Emperor in impeachment of the 
Minister of the Interior. 

At the journalists' conference a resolution was passed to impeach 
Hara. Spirited speeches were made by the representatives of news- 
papers, news-gathering agencies, magazines, and political parties. At 
the same time similar conferences and mass meetings were held in Osaka 
and Nagoya; and all the newspapers and periodicals of the country, 
with the exception of a few government organs, violently attacked Hara. 
The anti-government parties introduced an impeachment bill against 
Hara, but after a long and exciting debate it was defeated, because the 
Seiyukai, of which Hara was a leader, had a majority in the House. 

Consequently the National Journalists 7 conference, as a last resort, 
presented the following petition to the Emperor: 

On the fourth day of the third year of Taisho, Shuroku Kuroiwa and 
others, your obedient subjects, most respectfully present this petition to Your 
Majesty Our Emperor, wise and glorious in all civil and military affairs. 

Your Majesty, having succeeded the great works, of the late emperor, we 
most industriously look for a better government and are deeply moved by 
Your Majesty's gracious deeds. But, observing that the high officials, who 
are in your assistance, have grossly mismanaged their duties, we are very much 
afraid that some unforeseen calamity is likely to fall upon our nation in the 
near future. Therefore, we appeal now to Your Majesty. 

Since the naval scandal case became known to the public by the written 
sentence passed on Karl Richter by the name of the Emperor of Germany in a * 
court of justice at Berlin, our nation expected to see the resignation of Count 
Gombei Yamamoto, our Prime Minister, and thus to make his responsibility 
clear to the public, because they feared that Your Majesty's navy may lose 
its dignity both at home and abroad and thereby injure the honor of our 
empire. Moreover, in our nation there are some who consider Gombei himself 
the ringleader of the corrupt politicians, and their suspicions fall upon the 
sources of the accumulated personal wealth of Gombei. But the subsequent 
conduct of Gombei and other members of his Cabinet is entirely beyond pop- 
ular expectation; not only do they lack the sincerity to clean up the Naval 
Department, but they even seem to conceal certain existing facts about the 
case. The House of Representatives is also inclined to assist these official 
rascals by supporting the Cabinet, 


Consequently, the public was aroused and has become extremely excited 
Then Takashi Hara, the Minister of the Interior, without considering the situa- 
tion seriously, decided to forcibly suppress the irritated public sentiment by the 
use of police authority; and the result was that some policemen drew their 
swords and sabered innocent people and wounded a reporter who was on the 
way to Ms professional duty of making an observation of the incideat. Some 
plain-clothed detectives had mingled with the crowd and incited them pur- 
posely with radical speeches, thus turning the innocent children of Your 
Majesty into a violent and unruly mob. Then Your Majesty's army was 
imprudently used for the suppression of the disturbances. In one night the 
indiscriminate arrests of 430 pedestrians were made in the city of Tokyo, and 
410 of those arrested were released in a few days because no grounds for their 
indictment could be found. Lastly, Takashi concealed some bravoes in his 
mansion and made them, assault the reporters who visited his house on profes- 
sional duty of interviewing him. 

The above-stated facts prove that the government authorities regard 
Your Majesty's children as lightly as the dust, and that they are going to 
annihilate the spirit of the constitution which the late emperor established. 
This is what we most fear. We, Your Majesty's subjects, request not only 
the security of the peaceful pursuit of our profession, but we also demand the 
maintenance of the great spirit of our constitution. Therefore, we requested 
the resignation of Takashi, the person officially responsible for these incidents; 
but he has tried to avoid his responsibility by making impudent explanations, 
utterly disregarding the sufferings of our good citizens. He lacks any com- 
prehension of the serious fact that he is the person who raised the riot in the 
imperial capital. We, Your Majesty's subjects, respectfully believe that no 
high official, whose duty is to assist Your Majesty's state affairs, ever was 
suspected of such grave misconduct which brings disgrace to Ms high office 
as that of Gombei, We have heard of no man who so recklessly violated the 
fundamental rights of the citizen as Takashi has done. 

We are seriously afraid that, through such official misconduct, justice 
and humanity will lose their foundations and the lofty spirit of Your Majesty's 
new regime of Taisho will be seriously hampered; that Your August Virtues 
may be obscured, and that the great undertakings which have been trans- 
mitted to You by the late emperor will be kept from their proper develop- 
ment. Respectfully considering the situation, we feel that we can not but be 
alarmed by the great fear of approaching calamities, which may come if Your 
Majesty allows Gombei to remain in the highest chair of the Cabinet, and 


Takaslii in that important office of maintaining the public peace and order, 
and serve as the Director General of the grand ceremony at the great occasion 
of Your Majesty's coronation, which is to take place next November. 

We, your subjects, most humbly beg that Your August approval be 
granted us. We tremble ourselves feeling that we have impaired Your Maj- 
esty's dignity by presenting this petition to you, and respectfully await your 
condemnation of our guilt of impropriety. 

Most respectfully and sincerely, 

Your humble subjects, 

A special committee visited Prince Yamagata, Prince Oyama, and 
Marquis Matsukata, the elder statesmen, with this petition to the 

After the presentation of the petition, all non-government newspapers 
continued their attacks upon the ministers so violently that all the 
Tokyo papers were punished, and many other periodicals also. The 
Nippon and Nippon-jin and the Shin-Nippon were twice prohibited from 
publication. The more vigorous the government's suppression of the 
freedom of discussion, the more violent became the tone of attacks. 
All over the country conferences and mass meetings of journalists were 
held, and hundreds of impeachment resolutions were passed. There 
was never a time in the history of Japanese journalism when the journal- 
ists were so deeply aroused against the government. As a result, even 
government control in the House of Representatives could not combat 
the public opinion which had risen up against it. 

Encouraged by the rise of the journalists and the general public 
against the government, the united force of the three anti-government 
political parties decided to resort to the last measure, and introduced a 
bill to impeach the government. In the general session of March 23 a 
most exciting debate took place between the government and anti- 
government parties upon this impeachment bill. Although the govern- 
ment parties had the majority of seats in the House they were in a very 
critical situation when an imperial command to adjourn the session was 
served, and the debate was suspended. Thus the journalists, the popular 
political parties, and the public worked together to shorten the life of 


the Yamamoto Ministry, wllose downfall was at last precipitated by 
the House of Peers. 

Relying on the plurality of the Seiyukai, the government party, the 
cabinet ministers had acted in such utter disregard of public opinion 
that the hitherto puppet-like House of Peers at last woke up. The 
speech of T. Murata in the House of Peers is said to be the most high- 
spirited one ever delivered in the Assembly Hall of that chamber of the 
Diet. In the presence of all the members of the House and the state 
ministers Murata spoke as follows: 

Is it not because the nature and the purpose of the budget are ambiguous 
that the Minister of Finance uses his double and treble tongue in Ms explana- 
tion? The Minister of Agriculture and Commerce has also given us an incon- 
sistent explanation. Such an item as is called "the fund for encouraging 
industrial development," for instance, may be frankly and properly named 
"the fund to expand the influence of the Seiyukai" (government party). The 
fact that our House rejected the budget for naval expansion shows that we do 
not want to continue the existence of the Yamamoto Ministry, which, relying 
upon the absolute majority of the government party in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, ignores public opinion and obstinately clings to the chair in spite 
of the fact that it has seriously impaired our national dignity in the eyes of the 

Your Excellency, Premier Yamamoto ! I doubt if you really possess that 
sense of honor upon which we set the highest value and significance. Don't 
you hear the public calling you a traitor and the ringleader of the naval scandal? 
Furthermore, they are saying loudly that we can find in the prison houses 
many creatures whose physiognomy resembles yours markedly. Such ex- 
pressions, I believe, are the greatest insults, and your honor has been injured 
thereby. Even a humble and ignorant coolie would never forgive others for 
making such remarks against him. Is there any excuse for a man who keeps 
silent even in the face of these remarks, if he is called "a kin to cats and dogs" 
rather than a member of the human family? . . . . 

He continued with increasing spirit attacking the Cabinet and finally 
requested the Premier's immediate resignation. He then presented a 
letter of resignation, in recognition of his radicalism, and left for his 
mansion at Kamakura. 

The turmoil ended by the entire cabinet presenting their letters of 
resignation to the emperor. During this political storm, the circulation 
of newspapers in the country was increased 15 per cent. 


Soon after the letter of resignation was presented to the Throne by 
the Yamamoto Ministry, His Majesty summoned the elder statesmen 
to Ms presence and ordered them to scrutinize their successors. Prince 
Tokugawa was the first choice recommended by the elder statesmen, 
but he refused to accept the hard role of organizing a new cabinet under 
such a difficult situation. Viscount Kiyoura, the next choice, willingly 
accepted the imperial command. The most important problem for the 
successor of the Yamamoto Cabinet was, naturally, the reform of the 
naval department. Kiyoura had successfully assigned all chairs except 
the naval department, but he had neither experience nor friends in the 
naval circle. In Japan the Minister of the Navy is selected from among 
the admirals and vice-admirals of the Imperial Navy; and therefore if the 
administrative policy of a new ministry is disapproved by the naval 
circle, it is hard to secure a promising candidate for Minister of the Navy, 
Kiyoura at last picked Vice-Admiral T. Kato as the most suitable person 
for that post; but he refused to accept it because the meager navy budget 
did not satisfy him. Thereupon Kiyoura was discouraged and gave up 
hope of organizing the new cabinet. 

The lack of a proper personage for the Minister of the Navy was thus 
the immediate and apparent cause of Kiyoura's failure in his organization 
of the new ministry. But, in fact, the indirect and deeper cause seems 
to have been in the unpopularity of Kiyoura himself in journalistic 
circles and his lack of popular support. The public was tired of clan 
government, and had lost faith in the purely bureaucratic or so-called 
"non-party" government. In utter disregard of this change in the 
popular demand, however, the elder statesmen and Viscount Kiyoura 
intended to organize a purely non-party ministry. Soon after the 
imperial command to organize a new cabinet, S. Kuroiwa, G. Mat- 
sushita, and S. Otani, representing the United Journalists' Association, 
had an interview with Kiyoura, and requested him to base the new 
ministry upon party support, because they believed a purely non-party 
government could not satisfy the public. He rejected this suggestion, 
saying that he intended to carry out his own conviction regardless of 
outside pressure. Thereupon the three delegates of the journalists in- 
formed him that there was no other thing for them to do than to vigor- 


ously oppose such a government, and from then on the newspapers 
united in giving an unfavorable impression of his political activities. 
Moreover, the political parties naturally stood against the formation of 
such a government. Conferences and mass meetings of the combined 
forces of party men and journalists were held here and there, and the 
antagonism spread over the country. Therefore the difficulty in the 
appointment of the Minister of the Navy was indirectly due to this 
general unpopularity of the existing ministry. The failure to obtain a 
sufficient budget for the maintenance of the naval strength was already 
a strong blow to the naval men. To this now was added the unpopu- 
larity of the Cabinet as a whole. It was no wonder then that a cautious 
person would not accept the chair of the Minister of the Navy under 
that Cabinet. 

It became manifest that the political situation had undergone a 
radical transformation, and that the power of the press and public 
opinion had at last got control of national politics to a great extent, so 
that even the elder statesmen were no more the sanctuary of political 
institution in Japan. 

The elder statesmen were extremely surprised at the failure to organ- 
ize the Kiyoura Ministry. After a careful scrutiny they failed to find 
any other clan statesman or other bureaucrat who was sufficiently 
popular to control the situation, and, discouraged and embarrassed by 
attempts, they were at last obliged to appeal to Marquis Okuma, who 
had been isolated from ministerial politics for a long time. Okuma had 
been recognized as one of the most popular leaders of the nation, and 
the newspapers almost unanimously indicated their friendly attitude 
toward him. The public looked upon this great old man as their savior 
at a critical time. Inspired by this recognition, the man of eighty at 
last emerged from his long seclusion in Waseda and became the champion 
of the popular form of government. At that time the World's Work 
remarked about Okuma as follows: 

The senile elder statesmen appear to have lost their arrogance and to have 
come to realize the truth of the ancient Chinese proverb, "Heaven hears 
through the ears of the people." At any rate, the two houses of the Diet for 
the first time in the existence of the harmless body showed some signs of 


independence and refused to be dominated by the army and navy. So the 
Cabinet fell, and Count Okuma, the Bryan of Japan, became premier. Less 
than a month before his appointment was announced, an issue of his magazine 
was suppressed by the police bureau for its radical statements on governmental 
questions. Of course, Okuma will not accomplish very much. The clans and the 
bureaucrats are entrenched too strongly to be overthrown by any one premier. 
But his appointment gave the people a taste of power, and it isn't likely that 
they will forget it. 1 

In the beginning of Ms administration Okuma made his policy public. 
He expressed his desire, first of all, to secure the constitutionally guar- 
anteed freedom of discussion, of assemblage, and of association; second, 
to separate national and local politics and to emancipate the latter from 
party politics; third, to diminish the burden of the people by a proper 
tax reform and a new public-loan policy. He made pledges and raised 
hopes which were all enthusiastically welcomed by the people. 

In order to carry out his policy, however, Okuma had too small a 
number of his supporters in the House of Representatives, the absolute 
majority still being held by the Seiyukai. The only measure he could 
take to upset this situation was to dissolve the House and appeal to the 
public in the coming general election. Consequently, he and his fol- 
lowers waited carefully for their opportunity. In the thirty-fifth session 
of the Diet a sharp conflict took place between the government and the 
Seiyukai, and the result was the dissolution of the House of Repre- 

The subsequent general election was an exciting one, because both 
opponents used all their tactics and resources. On the government side 
the state ministers broke precedents by traveling about the country 
themselves making campaign speeches. To distant localities, where they 
could not go, phonographs with records of Premier Okuma J s campaign 
speeches were distributed, A political association named "The Asso- 
ciation to Support Count (now Marquis) Okuma" was organized and 
took an active part in the election all over the country. Most news- 
papers indicated their sympathy with the government, consequently 
creating a public sentiment. Premier Okuma became the idol of the 

1 World's Work, May, 1915, pp. 19-20. 


people. The result of the vote was a great surprise to both sides, for it 
disclosed an overwhelming victory for the government parties that 
neither side had anticipated. The Seiyukai could retain only 108 of 
their previous 205 seats, while the government parties won 210, a 
majority in the House. 

The victory of the government parties was due, first of all, to the 
almost unanimous support of the newspapers of the country for the new 
cabinet and the popular disgust with the Seiyukai party at that time. 
But it was also due to the government's interference in the election and 
the general trend of the people to support their government. When this 
fact was reconfirmed in the general election of April 21, 1917, after the 
fall of the Okuma Ministry, Marquis Okuma made the following state- 
ment in an interview with newspaper reporters: 

The result of the general election was the great victory of the govern- 
ment party and the bitter defeat of its opponents. But, the former should 
not be proud of this incident, while the latter need not be too discouraged by 
it. You may remember that several years ago I made the remark on a public 
occasion that our political situation closely resembles that of Spain, where the 
government party customarily wins more than two-thirds of the entire vote. 
We can say that something like this exists in our own situation. The unfair 
government interference may account for it to a certain extent, but the chief 
reason is that the political consciousness of our nation is still immature. The 
people blindly incline to support the governmental side, because they have 
been accustomed to submission to a strong power in the past. 

Such is indeed a sad phenomenon in the constitutional development of the 
state. Since the political life of a nation is nothing but the reflection of the 
political ideas of that nation, if we wish to see progress, we must first enlighten 

the people themselves If the nation becomes politically self-conscious 

and a healthy public opinion is created, all the undesirable phantoms of the 
political world will soon disappear just as the rising sun clears away night- 
mares. Well, then, is there any such force which will accomplish the r61e of 
the rising sun in the social control of our present state? Alas! there is none. 
But we can only sustain a slight hope in the newspapers l 

The Okuma Cabinet, organized under such circumstances, was 
naturally popular at the beginning of its administration. Especially 
1 Shigenobu Okuma, the Tokyo Asahi, April 24, 1917, p. 2. 


did the diplomatic policy of promptly joining the Allies in the Great War, 
which broke out shortly after its organization, obtain the warm approval 
of the general public; and the subsequent military and diplomatic 
activities taken by it unified the nation. 

This ministry, however, could not carry out the administrative 
policies advocated by its premier at the time of its organization, nor 
fulfil the expectations of the public. It had a sort of coalition cabinet, 
which was being continually torn by factional elements and prevented 
from being able to carry out a straightforward policy. Furthermore, 
Premier Okuma himself did not prove to be a practical statesman, 
although he was undoubtedly a great idealist and perhaps the most 
popular leader of public opinion. There was another difficulty with 
this government. Its strong interference in the last general election was 
a point of severe criticism and attack by the anti-government party. 
Later Viscount Oura, the Minister of the Interior, who was responsible 
for the matter, was obliged to resign. Another time at which the 
Cabinet was censured was in 1915 in regard to its harsh diplomacy in the 
treaty negotiations with China. Regardless of the mistakes committed 
during its administration, however, the Okuma Cabinet always enjoyed 
the support of the majority of the newspapers. Thus with the help of 
the press, and also because of the serious international situation con- 
nected with the Great War, the Cabinet survived for three years, a long 
life for a cabinet in Japan. At the end of that time the public tired of 
its mediocre administration, and the Terauchi Ministry, a reactionary 
bureaucracy, replaced it. 

The Terauchi Ministry, which succeeded the Okuma Cabinet in 1917, 
was organized on a non-partisan principle, and had a deeply bureau- 
cratic color. Count Terauchi, a marshal of the Imperial Army, is a very 
conservative type of nationalist, although he is a most sincere and honest 
statesman; and, like Yamagata, his chief, he possessed a dogmatic 
antipathy toward political parties. Consequently his cabinet was dis- 
tinctly reactionary in spite of a few progressive members in it. More- 
over, some of his influential lieutenants were very high-handed, and 
provoked unnecessary disputes with the journalists and their party 
opponents, arousing their antagonism against the Cabinet, 


In spite of the Okuma Cabinet's early declaration of policy, the freedom 
of the press was strictly suppressed. Regardless of this, however, that 
ministry succeeded in maintaining a much more harmonious relation 
with the journalists than its successor. This was due perhaps to the 
radical difference in character and temperament of the personnel of 
those two cabinets. Okuma and his followers, whatever their adminis- 
trative practices, had a conceit that they were of the democratic type 
of statesmen, and manifested a friendly attitude toward the journalists. 
Terauchi and his colleagues, on the contrary, believed themselves to be 
distinguished bureaucrats, who were far superior mentally to ordinary men. 
The result was a general unpopularity of the Cabinet in journalistic 
circles, and although it did not commit any more blunders than its prede- 
cessor the public held an unfortunate impression of it. The following 
sections give the general account of the relations which existed between 
the Terauchi Ministry and the press: 


The instruction given by Premier Terauchi to the prefectural governors 
is a very unpromising one. One-half of it is a lecture on an introduction to the 
study of classical ethics, and the other half is an awkward report of the pro- 
ceedings of the Imperial Diet. The general impression given in reading this 
instruction is like that of a second-hand store, especially an unprosperous one, 
where heaps of valueless junk are scattered about ready to be purchased. 
This is, of course, extremely disagreeable. For instance, his favorite principle, 
"thrift and industry/' has been most emphatically repeated again and again. 
But the problem of frugality and luxury belongs to the domain of economics 
as well as social politics, and is far more complicated than a problem which 
can be solved by simple and conservative ethical teachings. More than that, 
Premier Terauchi is making a great mistake in trying to direct the people 
with such old-fashioned instructions in hopeless ignorance of the changes of 
the times. 

With this type of mind and disposition, our Premier went on in his in- 
struction, and advised the local governors as to "careful guidance of the'ideas 
of the people" and expressed his great fear of the "new ideas which are gradu- 
ally invading the East as situations change." .... Now considering Jhe 

1 This is an editorial of the Taiyo, a leading magazine on political matters, which 
is considered non-partisan. 


delicate process of the psychology of the public, we fear that there is more 
danger in the constitutional ideas of Premier Terauchi himself than in his 
worry about the so-called "gradual invasion of the strange ideas from the 
West.' 11 

An instruction similar to the Premier's was issued by Foreign Minister 
Goto, who ordered the local authorities to censor the press more strictly. 
This brought about a conflict between him and the United Journalists' 
Association. The following article gives the details of it: 

From the trouble started by Chinese students in Japan, we obtained a 
hint for the first time as to the existence of some military agreement between 
Japan and China. Without the students' disturbances, we were destined to 
go on absolutely ignorant of such great national problems. Not only the mili- 
tary agreements with other states were generally passed without being made 
known to the people, but also the commercial agreements. Nevertheless it is 
ludicrous to see clever foreigners exposing such secrets greatly exaggerated, 
utterly disregarding the extreme precautions taken by our authorities. The 
result is that many misunderstandings as to our diplomacy are caused in foreign 

states In other states, especially in England, our new Foreign Minister 

is fairly popular. Through Renter's agency he seems to have announced 
abroad that there will be no change in our foreign policy, and that the imperial 
government respects the friendly relations with the Allies to the end, and 

earnestly desires the Allies' final victory This is indeed an inexpensive 

diplomacy as it is, but we must recognize that even such a formal declaration 
seems to have had some favorable effects, at least to the extent that it was 
worth while for the foreign newspapers to publish it. But we the Japanese 
ourselves have been given no opportunity to learn the reason why the Foreign 

Minister was changed, nor what the new Minister's foreign policy is 

We are thus entirely ignored by our own authorities in the matter of foreign 

We have not only been ignored, but at times have been treated similarly 
to the most dangerous German spies. The new Foreign Minister Goto, at the 
occasion of the recent meeting of the prefectural governors, very boldly in- 
sulted our loyal citizens. He said, " Since any unfavorable remarks made 
against our Allies will create directly or indirectly serious injuries upon our 
foreignjrelations, you the prefectural authorities are requested to guide the 
organs of public discussion with more minute and strict care." This instruc- 

*Ivoson Asada, the Taiyo, June 1, 1918, pp, 14-15. 


lion sounds as though there were many people among our citizens who would 
hold discussions hoping to see some disadvantage come to our friendly Allies. 
Thus he intends to supervise the press, the organs of public discussions, in the 
same attitude as he does German spies. Although there may be occasionally 
some expressions, which incidentally conflict with the interests of some of the 
Allied states we, the people, are not at all inferior to our authorities in our 
sincerity and patriotism. Consequently, it is very natural that the reporters, 
who have been assigned to the Foreign Office, become highly indignant. We 
cannot bear to be guided with "minute and strict care" by such prefectural 
authorities, who can listen most attentively to this sort of instruction without 
uttering a word of objection. 1 

The following articles show the general attitude taken by the govern- 
ment authorities toward the press, as -well as the balance of power kept 
between the two: 


.... Baron Goto, who has realized his long-cultivated aspirations 
and ambitions by becoming th Host of Kasurnigaseki (Foreign Office), was 
heartily welcomed by the public with great expectations because he is the 
only person who occupied that chair without having any previous relations 
with the Foreign Office, with the two exceptions of Marquis Okuma and 
Marquis Inouye. We can imagine how proud he must have felt in such a 
great initial success 

Baron Goto, who by nature cannot remain* idle for a moment, hurried to 
perform some meritorious deeds. First of all he pronounced his policies as 
the Foreign Minister to the correspondents of the foreign newspapers. But 
to the native journalists he clung firmly to the customary habit of remaining 
silent and did not express one word about his political opinion. Meanwhile, 
the foreign cable brought the news back home that the opinion of the new 
Japanese Foreign Minister has been received abroad with general approval. 
Japanese journalists were greatly surprised, and began to make a commotion. 
Iix this situation, however, Baron Goto doubtlessly smiled a very proud smile 
and thought to himself "My ability as the new Foreign Minister is something 
like this, don't you see?" Thus Baron Goto's so-called "guidance of the organ 

1 JfoU, editorial, June 1, 1918, pp. 12-14. 

2 Editorial in the Sekai-Koron, June, 1918, pp. 32-35. 


for public discussion" has proved more or less successful in foreign countries 
at the very beginning of his ministerial career. He is a genius in putting 
journalists in his pay and thus making them praise him and attack his oppo- 
nents. It is said that on every large newspaper he has several reporters paid 
by him, and many more on smaller newspapers, periodicals, and news-gathering 
agencies. Furthermore, there are several magazines and news-gathering 
agencies which have been newly established with the sole purpose of being fed 
by him. Therefore, if one censures his conduct, he says haughtily: "What 
wrong is there in becoming the great leader of the organs of public discussion? 
Even single-handed I can easily gather a large number of journalists under 
my standard." 

.... The origin of the present conflict between the Foreign Minister 
and the journalists' associations is in the ministerial instruction given by him 
at the prefectural governors' conference. At first he did not expect to make 
that instruction public; but one of the reporters who was in his pay obtained 
a copy of the speech from him and published its summary with an apparent 
intention to distinguish himself in his loyal service to his master. Thereupon 
the Kasumi Club, the association of the reporters assigned to the Foreign 
Office, naturally became irritated and rebuked the Baron sharply for the un- 
fairness of his giving the news; and consequently the Foreign Office was obliged 
to make that instruction public, Irx the original statement of his instruction 
there was a phrase "the supervision of the organs for public discussion," but 
later the word ".supervision" was changed to "lead" because some of his 
advisers thought the former word too sharp. When this instruction was thus 
made public, the members of the Kasumi Club became extremely indignant, 
and sent delegates to negotiate the matter with the Foreign Minister, Then, 
according to his customary policy of deluding the enemies with pleasant treat- 
ment, Mr. Goto prepared a splendid table in the special room which is used 
only for the entertainment of the honored guests, and there he welcomed the 
delegates. Unexpectedly, however, this diplomacy ended in complete failure 
this time. It rather intensified the animosities of the delegates, and the trouble 
had gone so far that the Kasumi Club passed a resolution of non-confidence 
in the new Foreign Minister. Then Baron Goto, in extreme wrath, took the 
ungentlemaniy measure of ordering those reporters out of the Foreign Office 
and strictly prohibiting their future entrance there, branding them as the 
"misbehaved reporters." Similar problems happened previously under the 
administrations of Baron Makino and Viscount Kato as Foreign Ministers; 
but in both those cases the Foreign Office paid no attention to the attacks, and 


therefore the trouble soon ended. But our Baron Goto faced the matter 
squarely with a very haughty air, and in a furious mood denounced the 
reporters as insolent lads who stood against such a high dignitary as himself. 
It may be called childishness ? but as the attitude of a state minister, his con- 
duct was too ridiculous and witless. He reminds us of a short-tempered master, 
who after a little quarrel with his rikisha-man discharges the latter at once; 
thus completely disclosing to the public his characteristics as a parvenu. 

This quarrel, unfortunately, could not be restricted to one corner of 
Kasumigaseki, but spread to twenty other journalists' clubs in Tokyo. We 
can imagine how difficult it must be now for the Baron to explain the situa- 
tion, because he had always taken great pride in his rare ability in the manipu- 
lation of the journalists, and had just lately announced to the public his lofty 
policy of "leading the organs for public discussion." Even with Baron Makino 
and Viscount Kato, both of whom had little sympathy with the journalists 
and therefore were unpopular among them, the turmoils had been confined to 
one section of the Foreign Office, and the matter had at last ended indecisively. 
Nevertheless, it was Baron Goto, who carries with him a large gold sign-board 
as the "champion manipulator of journalists" who has created this awkward 
situation. This incident is, perhaps, an instance of the proverbial "The best 
cart may be overthrown," 

The sole cause of this trouble seems to be in his miscalculation that, if he 
expelled the members of the Kasumi Club, the newspaper offices would assign 
other reporters to their places. Therefore, he wrote suggestions to the direc- 
tors of all newspapers. But from the standpoint of the newspaper office, a 
reporter was empowered by it to act in his discretion so far as his assigned 
post is concerned; and therefore it must protect his position to a certain ex- 
tent in order to maintain its own dignity. Moreover, a reporter's colleagues 
have the "knights help each other" spirit, and generally dare not invade 
another person's territory even if the director of the newspaper office order them 
to do so. Without any comprehension of such professional ethics existing 
among journalists, Baron Goto had calculated everything in his bureaucratic 
mind; and now it was too late for him to adjust his blunder by repentance. 
At first he must have anticipated that the newspaper offices would soon give 
in, because they would be extremely perplexed unless they obtained the news 
from the Foreign Office. But it was not only the newspaper offices that were 
afflicted, but the Foreign Office itself. Consequently it was announced that 
the news which was hitherto given out by the Foreign Office would be given 
out by the Cabinet thereafter. The Nagata Club, the association of reporters 


who had been assigned the Cabinet news, however, flatly rejected this proposal 
for the reason that it did not properly come into their professional jurisdiction. 
Consequently, the Foreign Office was obliged to telephone each newspaper 
office whenever it had some report to be made public, and each paper office sent 
an office boy to receive the printed reports. Now the progress of this quarrel 
is very well worth seeing. 

This article is apparently anti-Goto in its tone. 

The following article, on the contrary, is somewhat proGoto; and 
by comparison of these two the real situation can be judged, and the 
balance of power between the reporters and officials made clear: 


In the quarrel between the Kasumi Club and Goto, the reporters sur- 
rendered in a short time. It is said that Kuroiwa and other members of the 
Shinju-Kai had an interview with Goto, expecting to make this incident a 
serious problem. Then the latter explained the case to them, saying that his 
instruction "lead the journalists" means simply what those words signify, and 
he had no intention to oppress or command them; and that, if newspapers 
publish articles which are injurious to diplomatic relations,, the consequence 
shall be the frequent prohibition of the publication of such papers; and there- 
fore in order to avoid such inconveniences he hoped to lead the journalists 
in a proper direction for the benefit of both the newspapers and the Foreign 

This explanation of Goto being reasonable, Kuroiwa and others who vis- 
ited him had no argument with him, and decided to take the r61e of an arbi- 
trator between Goto and the Kasumi Club and other journalists' clubs which 
opposed him. In the beginning the members of the Kasumi Club were high- 
spirited, and sent manifestoes to all other journalists' clubs, many of which 
responded and became busy-bodies. But the arbitrator having been the 
Shinju-Kai, which is the association of directors, editors, and other influential 
staff members of large newspapers, the other associations and clubs of reporters 
could not disregard its advice. Some of the stubborn reporters seem to have 
been threatened with discharge from the office unless they accepted arbitra- 
tion, while others were those who had previously received special favors from 
the Foreign Office. The situation having been such, it is said that the Kasumi 
Club, the originator of the trouble, itself first began to soften, and soon 


entreated the other clubs, which went to Its aid, to withdraw from the battle- 
field. What an interesting comedy it was! It is too ridiculous an incident 
even to be spoken of. 1 

The following anonymous article, signed Sensoku-Rojln (an old ex- 
journalist), shows the different attitudes generally taken by the bureau- 
crats and party politicians, with the consequent effect upon journalism : 

The majority of writers on political affairs are young men with strong 
vitality and ambition, who after some of their journalistic experience uncon- 
sciously begin to assume an air of statesmen themselves. Furthermore, when 
the artful veteran politicians, who for many years have schooled themselves 
in the art of controlling the human mind, skilfully appeal to their sense of 
honor, patriotism, and chivalry, it is evident that these young journalists are 
perfectly happy. If anyone who desires to control politics lacks the power to 
charm and appeal to young journalists, he will be absolutely unable to become 
a successful statesman. 

For reasons such as these the reporters who are assigned to obtain news of 
political parties, in the course of time become sympathetic to, or even the tools 
of, the parties whose news they were assigned to report impartially. On the 
other hand, the reporters who assigned the government offices live in a place 
immune from political fever. In addition, the officials generally look down 
upon the reporters, or consider them as a sort of human being who are an- 
noying, nuisances, hindrances to business, and frequently men who expose the 
secrets of other people; in short, they are the troublesome persons whom they 
cannot keep their eyes off for a moment. Consequently they pretend to the 
utmost that they have no knowledge of the matters inquired about by the 
reporters. The reporters become reckless on account of such official attitudes, 
and they determine to stick more obstinately to their inquiries. The result is 

the growth of mutual ill feeling Therefore the majority of reporters 

assigned to government offices take an antagonistic attitude toward such 

offices Those reporters assigned to party news, on the contrary, soon 

make many friends among the party men, and finally become so intimate that 
they enjoy personal friendship apart from their professional relations. The 
government news reporter becomes more and more estranged from govern- 
ment officials. If he makes friendship with a f^ew officials, his colleagues will 
backbite him and call him an ambitious coward, while such officials are often 
secretly reported to their chiefs as the violators of public-service regulations, 

1 Mumei-Inshi, the Taiyo, July 1, 19 18, pp. 27-29. 


In fact such officials might have intended to smooth over relations existing 
between the office and the reporters, but by doing so they risk their own 
positions. Consequently, most of them begin to act coldly toward the reporters, 
who, on the other hand, not caring to be rumored as having dishonest relations 
with the officials, take the policy not to fraternize at all. The result is that 
no cordial relationships between the two can be expected from the present 

Such i& the temperamental difference between the bureaucrats and the 
party politicians, and this is the reason why government officials are generally 
unpopular in the journalistic world. 1 

As public education and the system of communication have rapidly 
progressed, the influence of the press upon the public has grown remark- 
ably even with the petty local papers. Muckraking articles or articles 
appealing to patriotism generally have the most marked response. 
Riots and other public disturbances such as the burning of street cars by 
the mobs in Nagoya, the mob attack on the gaslight company of Gifu, 
mob violence and the attempt on the mayor's mansion in Kanagawa, 
and the rice riots which occurred last year in many localities of Japan 
were undoubtedly incited to a great extent by newspaper articles, which 
were often exaggerated in tone. Japan has been rapidly changing in 
nearly every aspect of her national life for the past fifty years; and 
consequently there has been constant social unrest. In such a situation 
the susceptibility of the public is at its zenith, and the press has un- 
limited -control upon public sentiment. Since the Russo-Japanese War, 
newspaper circulation has enormously increased, and a mental situation 
of the masses is more readily created than it was ten years ago. Thus 
the rdle of the newspaper has become more significant year after year. 

In August, 1918, there were mob uprisings called "rice riots" in 
many localities in Japan. The price of rice, which is the principal food 
of the people of Japan, was raised exorbitantly; and furthermore, many 
riceshops refused to sell, speculating for further rise in prices. Conse- 
quently the poorer classes suffered from lack of food, and at last rioting 
was started in the larger cities and then all over the country. Con- 
siderable damage was done to property and life. An order was issued 

1 Sensoku-Rojin, the Chu-o Karon, March, 1917, pp. 25-29. 


by the Minister of the Interior, prohibiting publication of any news 
concerning the riots. The following articles which appeared in the 
Chu-o, a daily newspaper of Tokyo, clearly shows the development of 
the matter: 



The Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mizuno, has said: "The prohibition of 
the publicity of the riot news was very necessary. When the house-wives' 
riot first took place in Toyama, we did not interfere with the publicity of that 
news, although we felt that there might be some serious consequences. Then 
similar riots occurred both in Kobe and Osaka, and came to Tokyo with an 
epidemic nature. Since the newspapers publish these items in exaggeration, 
they tend to incite more riots, and the trouble has been spread now even into 
the northern district which has hitherto been calm. In other words, newspaper 
publicity undoubtedly tends to incite more riots. Until today, so far as the 
news was based on real facts, the Department of the Interior itself had made 
it public. But the situation having grown so dangerous, we are obliged to 
forbid publicity in consideration of the dangerous epidemic nature of the riots. 
Consequently we were obliged to carry out this prohibition, which decision 
was prompted by our patriotic sincerity, and we do so suppressing our tears. 
Therefore, if you journalists think of the interest of the state and of the nation, 
we believe that you will undoubtedly share our feelings. As for this matter I 
am ready to take all responsibility." 1 

A movement by the journalists to request the cancellation of the 
prohibition order was then started at once. The following article, also 
from the Chu-o, describes this affair; 



At noon of the fifteenth, the Sbinju-Kai (one of the most influential jour- 
nalists' associations) held a committee meeting at Seiyoken of Tsukiji; and 
after a discussion as to the order prohibiting the publication of riot news, which 
was issued to all metropolitan newspapers in the night of the fourteenth, made 

1 The Churo, August 15, 1918, p. 3. 


a resolution. Messrs. Kuroiwa, Yoshiuye, and Matsuyama were appointed as 
the delegates; and they at once called on Mr. Mizuno, the Minister of the 
Interior, presented their resolution, and requested his reply by 3:00 P.M. of 
the sixteenth. According to the nature of his reply, it is said that the jour- 
nalists all over the country will simultaneously rise and begin a great agitation. 
The following is the resolution passed: 

"We consider the order issued by the Minister of the Interior in the 
night of the fourteenth instant, which prohibited the publication of news con- 
cerning the riots caused by the exorbitant rise in the price of rice, an oppressive 
measure against the freedom of discussion, and an unprecedentedly unjust act. 
Therefore, the committee of the Shinju-Kai hereby requests of the Minister 
of the Interior a cancellation of this order by 3: 00 P.M. of the sixteenth 
instant." 1 



Regarding the matter of the suppression by the present Cabinet of the 
freedom of discussion about the rice riot, the Shinju-Kai negotiated the can- 
cellation of that order with Minister of the Interior Mizuno, and rigorously 
advised him that unless the government changes its attitude at once the Shmju- 
Kai shall act as it sees best to solve the case. 

At the fixed time of the sixteenth, Minister of the Interior Mizuno, at- 
tended by Vice-Minister Kobashi, gave the following reply to Mr. Naotaro 
Murakami, the representative of the president of the Shinju-Kai: 

"The government favorably considers the resolution passed by the com- 
mittee of the Shinju-Kai regarding the order which prohibited the publication 
of the riot news, and the desires and opinions explained by the gentlemen of 
the delegates. Therefore, we cancel the said order, and hereafter will permit 
the publication of the contents of the official reports which are given out by the 
Department of the Interior and also other facts which are based in such 

After having examined this reply, the Shinju-Kai again held a committee 
meeting at 2:00 P.M. at Seiyoken of Tsukiji, and after a long consultation, 
decided again to negotiate with the Minister of the Interior to request the 
permission of the publication of the facts which are gathered from private 
source^, as far as they are correct, because the publication of only official 

1 The Chuv, August 16, 1918, p. 2. 


reports makes it difficult to obtain the correct interpretation of the facts and 
the right idea of the real situation. Thereupon President Kuroiwa and Messrs. 
Matsuyama, Yoshiuye, Yamakawa, and Otani, representing the Shinju-Kai, 
called on the Minister of the Interior. With the attendances of both Vice- 
Minister Kobashi and Director of the Police Bureau Nagata, Mizuno carefully 
considered the matter and promised to give an answer by noon of the seven- 
teenth instant. Judging from the progress of the matter heretofore, it seemed 
that the problem would soon be solved most satisfactorily. 1 



.... At noon of the 17th instant, an answer was given by the Minister 
of the Interior. The Shinju-Kai, however, thought that the reply contained a 
few points that differed from those that the Minister of the Interior had told 
to its delegates the previous night, and immediately it consulted with him. 
Consequently, the Minister handed the delegates the following written mem- 
orandum, and therefore, the committee ended its activities, thinking that they 
had accomplished what they had first intended to obtain. 


The news regarding the riots, caused by the rise of the price of rice, may 
be published by the newspapers so far as they are the official reports and the 
facts which are based upon such reports. As to the other news, it is not our 
intention to prohibit its publication if it is based on the actual facts and is 
neither exaggerated nor inciting in its nature. 

The government only hopes that the newspapers will use serious consid- 
eration in the treatment of this news, because the situation in the country is 
very grave. 2 

Mizuno, who succeeded Goto as Minister of the Interior, after the 
latter's transfer to the Foreign Office, took a much more liberal attitude 
toward the press than had his predecessor, as is shown by the concessions 
of the Terauchi Cabinet toward the press. The official atttiude in this 
matter seems to indicate the general trend today in government affairs. 
Even Count Terauchi himself was not the same man at the end as he 

W, August 17, 19 18, p. 2. 
2 Ibid., August IS, 1918, p. 2. 


was at the beginning of Ms administration. Practical politics will teach 
any dogmatic bureaucrat or arbitrary conservative the power of the 
press and of public opinion in the modern world. 

The Terauchi Ministry did not make any particularly serious blunder; 
but the day for a distinctly bureaucratic government had already passed, 
and the people could not be contented with it. During the last decade 
the general atmosphere of Japan has grown distinctly democratic, espe- 
cially since the outbreak of the Great War. The people have begun to 
seek a more liberal government than that of the past. In view of all 
this, Count Terauchi at last resigned; and on September 29, 1918, the 
Hara Cabinet was organized on a purely party basis with members of 
the Seiyu-Kai 

This new cabinet is the second party government in the political 
history of Japan, The first party government was established by the 
First Okuma Ministry in 1898 as previously stated, but it was unsuc- 
cessful and short-lived, because the newly organized Kenseito party was 
soon split into two factions, Okuma's adherents and Itagaki's followers. 
It was in fact only a pseudo-party government. Therefore, in a strict 
sense, the Hara Cabinet might be called the first party government in 
Japan. Heretofore a majority of the cabinet members were nobles. 
Today Premier Hara himself is a non-title holder, and, with the excep- 
tion of two barons, the rest of his cabinet members are commoners. 
Thus Hara has made a new record in the political history of Japan, in 
accordance with the popular demand. This cabinet started out with 
the peopled approval, and, since it was an experiment and a test of the 
strength of democracy, the whole nation of Japan looked for its success. 
Even the anti-governmental parties did not provoke unnecessary dis- 
putes as they had in the past, lest they should give another opportunity 
for the revival of the militaristic and bureaucratic domination. The 
general tone in journalistic circles was also favorable. It is interesting 
to see how Hara has profited by his long political experience, and how the 
spirit of the age has so democratized him. He was in the beginning a 
strong bureaucrat, and left records of frequent disturbances in the Diet 
and among the journalists by his high-handed measures. In the new 
cabinet he and his followers were busily occupied in keeping abreast of 


the political trend of the age. Many customary ceremonial practices 
and much "red tape" were abolished; contact between the authorities 
and the people was made easier; and the educational system was 
more democratized (see chap, v); and the suffrage reform was far 
partially accomplished by extending the franchise to nearly 2,500,000 
people, 1,000,000 more than the previous number. This suffrage reform 
is, of course, insignificant in a state which has nearly 60,000,000 popu- 
lation, but the trend of the times clearly indicates that a far wider 
franchise will soon be given. The popular demand is for universal man- 
hood suffrage, and there are already many advocates of woman suffrage. 
All the opposition parties and people's suffrage organizations, with the 
co-operation of newspapers, have launched a vigorous campaign for 
universal suffrage and are now fighting against the government's con- 
servative measure. 

Since the latter part of 1918 labor problems have occupied the center 
of national attention. Although labor organizations are prohibited by 
the imperial laws, there have arisen frequent strikes of wage-earners in 
many branches of industry and commerce all over the coumtry. Previ- 
ously the laborers of Japan were helpless creatures, who had either to 
quit work individually and starve or submit themselves to the mercy of 
their employers. They are now raising a cry for better pay, shorter 
hours, better working conditions, etc., collectively. Most of these things 
are those which the laborers of the Western countries acquired a long 
time ago, but even such conservative requests on the part of the wage- 
eaf ners were revolutionary in Japan and shocked the upper-class people. 
Now the press is taking up this problem with enthusiasm and the public 
is eagerly discussing it. The upper classes, especially the capitalists and 
the authorities, are extremely anxious about it, and by their consternation 
they are overemphasizing the seriousness of the situation. The appear- 
ance of such a new phase of the labor problem was, of course, directly 
due to the rapid development of modern industry, which has brought 
many new abuses with it, on the one hand, and an enormous increase 
in the cost of living on the other, during the past several years in Japan. 
But the poverty of the laborers is not a new phenomenon there. Tjhey 
have always been extremely hard pressed, having been allowed only 


minimum living wages and many of them even less. Taking all the 
elements of their material comfort into account, their past was no better 
than their present condition, on the average, and in fact their standard 
of living has been considerably raised in recent years. Therefore the 
dissatisfaction was not due so much to the amount of wages or the 
condition of work itself as it was to their aspirations for more justice and 
equality. It seems to be true in any country that at least one-half the 
causes of labor problems are primarily of a psychological nature, and 
this fact was keenly felt in the recent labor disturbances in Japan. 
Previously the wage-earning people of Japan were ignorant and servile 
creatures who did not realize even the existence of their own person- 
alities. Due to the gradual diffusion of education and the development 
of the means of communication, however, they began to wake up and to 
realize more clearly the significance of human life and the relative im- 
portance of their place in society. They soon realized that there was 
something wrong in the system of the distribution of wealth and in the 
social relations between different classes. They heard of an enormous 
increase of the national income during the Great War, and observed the 
luxury of financial upstarts who had absorbed the greater part of the 
war profits. They read in newspapers that a large number of corpora- 
tions paid extraordinarily high dividend rates, and that the banks are so 
flooded with money that they do not know what to do with it. But 
what had happened to them? The raise in wages had scarcely caught 
up with the increasing cost of living. They felt that, as a member of 
such a wealth-producing community, they were entitled to fairer treat- 
ment. As long as this aspiration for justice and equality on the part 
of the wage-earners remains more or less unsatisfied there will always 
be some sort of labor problem even if the wages are high enough to 
sustain a moderate living for their families and the working conditions 
are fairly tolerable ; they would request their participation in the manage- 
ment and control of the industry itself. This is the reason why we see 
labor uprisings in Japan while peace and tranquillity still prevail in the 
labor markets of China, India, and all other neighboring states of Asia. 
There the condition of the wage-earning classes is far worse than in 
Japan, but they are not yet conscious of their own human value. 


Recently the general awakening of the masses has been strongly felt 
by the conservative elements, especially the bureaucrats and the mili- 
tarists. They are alarmed that the people have grown so undisciplined 
and revolutionary; and they fear radical socialism and bolshevism, 
which may overturn all sorts of existing beliefs, ideals, organizations, and 
institutions, and throw the nation into political as well as moral anarchy. 
These alarmists and skeptics, however, do not see in the darkness of 
national life the bright sparks which will lead the whole nation toward 
a much healthier development. Since this is a transitional age from the 
state of political subconsciousness to self-consciousness for the mass of 
the people, there is a great deal of unrest, excitement, and temporary 
disorganization, which occasionally may have more or less dangerous 
tendencies. Only by going through such coftflktts and struggles, how- 
ever, is the real political development of a nation possible. The days of 
autocracy and benevolent despotism have passed away, and the people 
are aware of the fact that a state is by no means a sort of superhuman 
institution destined to be controlled by mysterious might and wisdom 
kept in the hands of certain authorities or a small number of the privileged 
classes, but that it is simply the highest social organization existing for 
the purpose of a co-operative development of the life of all of its con- 
stituent members. Whether the democracy which is represented by any 
one of the so-called democratic states of the present day is an ideal 
political state or not probably it is not the goal of a real democracy, 
political, social, and industrial, is participation by an increasing number 
of the population in the common life of the community. In this sense 
the more democratic a community grows the nearer it approaches the 
ideal state in social and political life. And in the process of democ- 
ratization of a community the importance of the role played by the 
press is second to none regardless of the fact that various incidental 
abuses have accompanied it due to the excessive growth of commercial- 
ism and of sensationalism. Direction of political affairs in Japan today 
is no longer a monopoly of the privileged classes, because the power of 
the people is becoming more and more felt in internal and foreign affairs. 
Through the press views are exchanged and opinions expressed. And 
the attitude of the general public, which includes now the great majority 


of the national population, is reflected through it better than through 
any other medium in Japan. In short, this is a period in which the 
fetish-like nationalism of the preceding two decades has been greatly 
enlightened, and in which a healthy democracy has at last found a 
strong foothold in the Land-of-the-Rising-Sun. 


There are only a few books and periodical articles written in the 
Western languages among the valuable source materials for the study of 
the subject-matter treated in this work. Most of the references given 
here were printed in Japanese, and therefore their detailed page index 
is omitted,, because it will be of no service to Western readers. Book 
titles are given first in the Japanese way of their reading, and then their 
meanings in English within the parentheses; of periodical and news- 
paper articles only the English translations are given. 


Asakawa, Kan-ichi. The Early Institutional Life of Japan. 

Asakura, Kamezo. Honcho Shimbun-shi (History of the Newspaper in Japan) . 

Bryce, James. The American Commonwealth. 

Bunsei-sha, The. Shimbun Kisha (The Journalists). 

Communication, The Department of. Postal Service in Japan, 1892. 

Imperial Government Railways, 1915* 

-History of the Telegraph in Japan, 1892. 
-Mercantile Marine, 1892. 

raphic Illustration of Communication, 1915. 

Cooley, Charles H. Social Organization. 

Dai-Nippon Shimbun Gakkai. Shimbun Kogiroku (Transcripts of Lectures on 
Journalism) . 

Dibblee, G. B. The Newspaper. 

Dicey, A. V. History of the Relation between Law and Opinion in England. 

Education, The Department of. Annual Report of the Minister of State for 
Education, 1909-13. 

History of Japanese Education; prepared for the Japan-British Exhibi- 
tion, 1910. 

Education in Japan; prepared for the Panama Pacific Exposition, 1915. 

Ellwood, Charles A. An Introduction to Social Psychology. 

Finance, The Department of. Financial and Economic Annual of Japan 

Fukuchi, Gen-ichiro. Kai~o Jidan (Reminiscences oj Fukucht). 



Fukuda, Tokuzo. Die Gesellschaftliche und Wirtschaftliche Entwickelung in 

Fukuzawa, Yukichi, Fuku-o Hyaku-wa (Anecdotes of Fukuzawa). 

Fuku-o Jiden (Autobiography of Fukuzawa). 

Fuku-o Mangen (Miscellaneous Articles by Ftikuzawa). 

Given, J. L. Making a Newspaper. 

Goto, Samparo. Shimbun oyobi Shimbun-kisha (Journalism and Journalists). 
Griffis, W. G. Japan in History., Folk Lore, and Art. 
Hearn, Lafcadio. Shadowings. 

Higashi, Kaoru. Jinsei Hyaku-Fushigi (Mysteries of Life). 
Hozumi, N. Ancestor-Worship and Japanese Law. 

Inada, Shunosuke. Shimbun-shi ni kansuru Seido no Hikaku Kenkyu (Com- 
parative Study of the Press Law of Different Countries) ; transcript of Lec- 
tures at the Chu-o University, 1910. 
Inaoka, Masabtimi. Shimbun-Kisha (The Journalists). 
Ise, Heijiro. Shimbun Sambai no Kagaku-teki Kenkyu (Scientific Study of the 

Business Side of the Newspaper). 

Iwami-Ginzan Seiyaku-sho. Omukashi Nezumitori no Kdkoku (An Advertise- 
ment for Poison to Kill Rats). 

lyenaga, Toyokichi. The Constitutional Development of Japan. 
Japan Year Book Co. The Japan Year Book, 1905-17. 
Josei-Inshi. Shimbun-sha no Kuziikago (The Waste-Basket of a Newspaper 

Keizai-Sosho. Keizai-jo-yori Kansatsu-shitaru Shimbun-gyo {Journalism 

Viewed from- the Economic Standpoint). 
Kikuchi, Dairoku. Japanese Education. 
Kitayama, Yonekichi. Shimbun-kiji Netsuzo-no Kontan (Fake Reporting of 


Koike, Yojiro, Nippon Shimbun Rekishi (History of the Newspaper in Japan) . 
Kokubu, Tanehiko. Dai-Nippon Gendai-Shi (History of New Japan). 
Kokumm, The. Kokumin Nenkan (Kokumin Year Book), 1915-17. 
Koriyama, Keido. Shimbun-Kisha Oitachi-no Ki (Autobiography of a Re- 

Kudo, Takeshige. Teikoku Gikai-Shi (History of the Imperial Diet). 
Kure, Bunhei. Hosei-o Chushin-to-shitaru Yedo Jidai Ron (History of the Legal 

System of the Tokngawa Regime). 
Le Bon, Gustave. The Crowd. 

Library, The Imperial. Shimbun Sho-roku (Abstract of History of Journalism 
of Japan) j a manuscript. 


Library, The Imperial. Shimbun Raireki Ryaku (Summary of the History of 
the Newspaper in Japan} ; a manuscript of the Department of Education* 

Lowell, A. L. Public Opinion and Popular Government, 

Martin, F. L. The Journalism of Japan; a University of Missouri Bulletin. 

Masaoka, Yuichi. Shimbun-sha no Rimen (The Dark Side of Newspaper 

Matsumoto, Kumpei. Shimbun-gaku (Journalism). 

Mayeda, S. Outline of the History of the Telegraph in Japan, 1892. 

Miyake, Setsurei. Meiji Shiso Sho-shi (Graphic History of the Social and 
Political Ideas in New Japan). 

Miyatake, Gaikotsu. Shikka-shi (History of Persecution of the Publications in 

Kisd Tengai (Wonderful Ideas from Unknown Regions). 

Moll, Albert Hypnotism. 

Morgan, Lloyd. Habit and Instinct. 

Morimoto, Iwao. Shimbun Zasshi Kisha-to Naruniwa (How to Become a Jour- 
nalist) . 

Motoyama, HikoichL Shimbun Kei-ei Zatsudan (Personal Experiences in 
Newspaper Enterprise} ; an appendix to How to Make a Newspaper, by 
S, Uogawa. 

Nippon Dempo Tsiishin-sha. Shimbun Soran (Newspaper Directory), 1910-17 

Nippon Rekishi-Chiri Gakkai. Nippon Kotsu-shi Ron (History of Communica- 
tion in Japan). 

Nitobe, I. O. The Japanese Nation, Its Land, People, and Life. 

Ogawa, Teimei. Shimbun-kisha Ude-kurabe (Anecdotes of Reporters' Compe- 
tition in News-gathering). 

Okuma, Shigenobu. Fifty Years of New Japan. 

Onose, Fujito. Jissai Shimbun-Gaku (Practical Journalism). 

Park, Robert E. The Principles of Human Behavior. 

Lectures in the University of Chicago. 

Ross, E. A. Social Psychology. 

Saiki, Uson. Shimbun-kisha no Hyo~ri (Oute* and Inner Conditions of Jour- 
nalists' Life). 

Sanshibai Banzuke-hyo. Program of Three Theaters. 

Satomi, Kingo. Teikoku Gikai no Naimen Bakuro (Exposure of the Real Condi- 
tion of the Imperial Diet). 

Sidis, B. The Psychology of Suggestion. 


Small, A. W. General Sociology. 

Statistical Bureau of Japan. Diagrams and Numerical Tables Showing the 
Growth of Population and the Vital Statistics of the Japanese Empire, 1915. 

Statistics, United States Bureau of. Commercial Japan, 1902. 

Suehiro, Tetcho. Shimbun Keireki Dan (Personal Experiences in a Journal- 
istic Career)} an appendix in Ochibano Hakiyose, a political story by the 
same writer. 

. Tetcho Bunsku (Collection of Tetcho' } s Editorial Articles}* 

Sugimura, Kotaro. Saikin Shimbun-Gaku (The Latest Journalism). 

Suifuro-Gakujin, Mukan-no Tei-o (The Emperor without a Crown). 

Taguchi, UHchi. Nippon Kai ka Sho-shi (Graphic History of Japanese Civili- 
zation) . 

Taiyd, The. Shinhorei; Fuzoku, Teikoku Gikai-shi (The New Legislation 
and the History of the Imperial Diet)*, an annual publication (1911-19 

Takegoshi, Yosaburo. Nisen-gohyakunen Shi (History of Japan). 

Tarde, Gabriel. Lois de limitation. 

Thomas, W. I, A Source Book for Social Origins. 

Toda, Kai-ichi. Nihon-no Shakai (The Japanese Society). 

Tokuno, T. Japanese Wood-Cutting and Wood-Cut Printing. 

TomoHsa, Yasumori. Kisha Tamoo Rimen-no Tokyo (The Dark Side of Tokyo 
Studied by a Reporter) . 

Tsumaki, Chuta. Ishin-go Dai-nempd (Great Chronology of New Japan; with 
an Appendix of the Events at the End of the Feudal Regime). 

Uchida, Roan. Kino-Kyo (Yesterday and Today), 

Umezawa, Asajiro. Nippon Shimbun-shi Seikan (Newspaper Directory of 

Uogawa, Sekitaro. Shimbun-ni Narumade (How to Make a Newspaper). 

Uyehara, George Etsujiro. The Political Development of Japan. 

Wallas, Graham. The Great Society. 

Watson, J. B. Behamor. 

. Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behamor ist. 

Yokohama Shogyo Kaigi-sho. Yokohama Kaiko Gojunen Shi (Fifty Years of 
the Port of Yokohama since It Was Opened to Foreign States), 


A. B. C. "Experiences of a Journalist," The Shinkoron> June, 1917. 
Adachi, Kenz5. "My Prison Experience in Connection with the Queen Bin 
Affair/' The Taikan, October, 1918, 


Adachi, Motonosuke. "The Unjust Prohibition of Publication," The Chu-o 
Koron, May, 1916. 

Aijima, Kanjiro. "My View of Newspapers," The Shinjidai, July, 1918. 

Akagi, Nen. a Competition among the Tokyo Newspapers," The Shinjidai, 
February, 1918. 

" Competition among the Newspapers of Western Japan," The Shinjidai, 

March, 1918. 

"Hard Situation of the Tokyo Asahi" The Shinjidai, August, 1918. 

"By Questioning the Jifa the Hochi, and the Choya Urge the Honest 

Reporting of News," The Shinjidai, December, 1918. 

Akizaki, Sato-o. "I Would Rather Remain Poor and Harmless than to Be 
Rich and Injurious in Journalism," The Shinjidai, February, 1919. 

Asada, Koson. "Impression of Current National Politics," The Taiyo, May, 

Asahi, Ichikisha, "The Fake Prospectus of the Resigned Journalists," The 
Shinjidai, February, 1919. 

Asahi, Kisha. "The Prospectus of the Journalists Who Resigned Their Posi- 
tions on the Tokyo Asahi" The Shinjidai, February, 1919, 

Asahina, Chisen. "Prince Ito, Viscount Suematsu, and Viscount Ito ? " The 
Taikan, October, 1918. 

Chautauquan, The, "Political Unrest in Japan," LXX, 139-40, April, 1913. 

Clement, E. W. "Political Parties in Japan," Political Science Quarterly, 
December, 1912. 

Denko-Hanjin. "Criticisms of the Prominent Journalists of the Osaka News- 
papers," The Shinjidai, June, 1918. 

Fuchien-Shujin. "Tokyo and Provincial Newspapers and Their Journalists at 
Kyoto and Osaka," The Shinjidai, August, 1918. 

Furai-kyo-Shujin. "A Supervisor of Newspapers," The Yumeno-Sekai, May, 

"A Supervisor of Newspapers," The Yumeno-Sekai^ June, 1918. 

Gaimusho-no Koshiben. "The Character of Present-Day Journalists," The 
Shinjidai, December, 1918. 

Getsurei-Senkaku. "Elites and Mediocres in the Kokuminto Party," The 
Shinjidai, December, 1917. 

Goto, Shimpei. "An Essay on the Improvement of Newspapers," The Shin- 
jidai, October, 1917. 

Hayakawa, Tetsuji. "The Successive Foreign Ministers of Japan," The Shin- 
jidai, July, 1918, 


Hayashida, Kametaro. "My Recollection of Speaker Kono's Unprecedented 
Ceremonial Address in the Diet/' The Yumeno-Sekai, May and June, 1918. 

Higasa-KyokutS. " Criticisms of the Newspapers of Formosa," The Shinjidai, 
July, 1918. 

Hirano, Kaso. "The Central Figures of the Kensei-kai Party/' The SMnjidai, 
December, 1917. 

Hokuto-Sei. "The Dark Side of the Journalists' Associations of Tokyo/' The 
Chugai-Shinron, January, 1918. 

"The Dark Side of the Political Party Reporters," The Chtigai-Shinron, 

August, 1918. 

Homma, Hisao. "Censorship of Literature/' The Skinkoron, July, 1918. 

Independent, The. "The Japanese Riots/ 7 LXXIV, 429-30, February 20, 1913. 

Inukai, Ki. "Anecdotes/' The Daigaku Hydron, August, 1917. 

"Anecdotes of Early-Day Journalistic Experience/' The Taikan, Octo- 
ber, 1918. 

Ishikawa, Hanzan, "A Lecture on the Newspaper/' The Chu-o Koran, Septem- 
ber, 1915. 

"The Development of the Newspaper in Japan/' The Shinjidai , Feb- 
ruary, 1919. 

Ishikawa, Kammei. "Consistency Is My Journalistic Policy/ 3 The Shinjidai, 
July, 1918. 

Iwaya, HSmei. "The Unjust Prohibition of Publication/' The Chu-o Koron, 
May, 1916. 

Jonan-Inshi. "Exposure of the Secrecy of Current National Politics" (monthly 
serial), The Shinjidai, December, 1917 May, 1919. 

Katsujin-To. "Political Party Reporters of Tokyo," The Shinjidai, December, 

Kiktichi, Shodo. "My Opinion of Newspapers," The SMnjidai, July, 1918. 

Kodama, Konan. "My Impression of Journalistic Life," The Shinjidai, July, 

Koku-Un-Sei. "Prominent Statesmen of the Shinsei-Kai Party and of Inde- 
pendents," The Shinjidai, December, 1917. 

Koyama, Nobuyuki. "Rebuke of Count Terauchi's Declaration of a Despotic 
Administrative Policy," The Sekai-Koron, June, 1918. 

Kuratsuji, Hakuja. "The Chivalry of Civilized Society," The Shinjidai, July, 

Kurohano-Kagebito. "The Conflict between Foreign Minister Goto and the 
Journalists' Associations," The Sekai-Kdron, June, 1918. 


Matsui, Hakuken. "An Essay on the Journalists' Morals," The Chu-o Koron, 

May, 1918. 

"Qualifications of the Journalists," The Shinjidai, July, 1918. 

Mejirodai-Shu. "Political Philosophy of the Non-Party Government," The 

Shinjidai, January, 1917. 
Mumei-Inshi. "Conflict between Goto and the Kasumi Club," The Taiyo, 

July, 1918. 
Mumei-ShL "Political Discussions by Journalists Who Are in the Pay of the 

Government," The Shin-Nippon, June, 1918. 
Nagashima, Ryuji. "Five' Noteworthy Statesmen in Present-Day Japan" 

(three serial articles), The Shinjidai, April, May, June, 1918. 
Nakahira!, Fumiko. "My Experience as a Woman- Journalist Who Was Mis- 
led Because of the Weakness of the Feminine Nature," The Chu-o Koron, 

May, 1916. 
Nakamura, Kichizo. "The Attitude of Our Authorities on Censorship of Plays 

and Publications," The Chu-o Koron, May, 1916. 
Nakamura, Seiko. "New Tendencies in Writing Stories," The Shinjidai, 

October, 1917, 

Nippon, The. "Cabinet, Diet, and the Press," March, 1918. 
Oba, Shigema. "Plea for Civil Suits against Unjust Censorship," The CM-o 

Koron, May, 1916. 
Oishi, Masami. "Short Criticisms of the Prominent Statesmen of Japan/' 

The Shinjidai, April, May, 1918. 
"Count Itagaki's Trip to Europe and the Subsequent Great Internal 

Disputes in the Liberal Party," The Taikan, October, 1918. 
Oka, Ikuzo. "Experience as Proprietor of the Chu~o," The Taikan, October, 

Okuma, Shigenobu. "Elections in Japan and the Causes of Political Weakness 

in the Nation," The Tdkyd Asahi, April 24, 1917. 

Onose, Fujibito. "Needed Reforms in the Press and the Journalists' Associa- 
tions," The Shinjidai, July, 1918. 
Otani, Seifu. "The More Might, the More Responsibility," The Shinjidai, 

July, 1918. 

Outlook, The, "Political Riots in Japan," CIII, 376-77, February 22, 1913. 
Ozaki, Yukio. "How I Was Banished from Tokyo as a Dangerous Agitator," 

The Taikan, October, 1918. 
Renzan-TJjin. "The Leading Figures of the Seiyu-kai Party," The Shinjidai t 

December, 1917, 


Retsugai-Kanjin. "The Financial Reporters of Tokyo/' The Shinjidai, July, 

Sasakawa, Rimpu. "History of the Civilization of Yedo," The Chu-o Karon, 

September, 1915. 

Satomi, Kingo, "Bury the Shinju~kai," The Shinjidai, February, 1918. 
Sawa, Raitaro. "Need for the Revision of the Press Law," The Chu~o Koron, 

May, 1916. 

Sensoku-Rojin. "Politicians' Manipulations of the Journalists," The Chu-o 
Koran, March, 1917. 

"Psychology of the Political Parties and the Dispositions of the Party 

Politicians/' The Chu-o Koran, January, 1917. 

Shimada, Saburo. "Reminiscences of a Journalist," The Taikan, October, 1918. 
Shinjidai, The. "Peddlers of Evening Papers in Tokyo," January, 1918. 

"An Instance of the Corruption of Reporters of Economics," May, 1918, 

"The Hard-Pressed Newspaper Offices," June, 1918. 

"A Warning to Our Government as to Prohibitions of Publication," 

June, 1918. 

"Prohibition of Publication," July, 1918. 

"The Dark Side of the Social News Reporters," August, 1918. 

"Directory of the Journalists of Tokyo," October, 1918. 

"Directory of the News-gathering Agencies of Tokyo," November, 1918. 

"An Exposure of the Inner Circumstances of Local Newspapers," 

December, 1918. 
Soyeda, Juichi. "Why I Entered the Journalistic Profession," The Shinjidai, 

February, 1919. 

Sugimura, Kotard. "Having Read Dr. Ukita's Article Attacking on the Harm- 
fulness of the Press, Urge His Serious Reflection upon Himself," The Chu-o 
Karon, November, 1917. 

Suginaka, Tanekichi. "The Enslaved Tokyo Asahi," The Shinjidai, October, 

"The Cursed Yorozu," The Shinjidai, December, 1917. 

"Criticism on the Tokyo Nichi-nicM," The Shinjidai, January, 1918. 

"Change in the Tokyo Mainichi" The Shinjidai, February, 1918* 

"Criticism on the HocM," The Shinjidai, March, 1918. 

"Criticism on the Kokumin" The Shinjidai, April, 1918. 

"Criticism on the Yomiuri" The Shinjidai, May, 1918. 

"Criticism on the Yamato," The Shinjidai, June, 1918. 

-"The Osaka Nichi-nichi, the Roman Pope of Japanese Journalism," 

The Shinjidai, July, 1918, 


Suginaka, Tanekichi. "The Osaka AsaM, a Public Enemy of Humanity and 
an Incarnation of Dangerous Ideas/ 7 The Shinjidai, August, 1918. 

"The Poor Osaka Asahi, Which Is Now Lying on the Chopping-Block," 

The SMnjidai, Octpber, 1918. 

"The Cursed Osaka AsaM," The SMnjidai, November, 1918. 

"The Subsequent Situation of the Osaka Asahi" The Shinjidai, Decem- 
ber, 1918. 

Taiyo, The. Articles printed in 1907-20 inclusive referred to. 1 

Takata, Sanai. "Before the Popularization of Newspapers/' The Taikan, 
October, 1918. 

Takayama, Kakui. "The Custom of Attaching the Syllabaries to the Ideo- 
graphs Must Be Abolished/ 3 The Chu-o Koron, March, 1918. 

Takegoshi, Yosaburo. "Count Mutsu and His Success in Making Japan a 
World Power/' The Taikan, October, 1918. 

Takino, Fuyo. "Gossip about the Nippon Club/' The Shinjidai, December, 

Tanaka, Kotaro. "History of Official Scandals and Corrupt Practices in New 
Japan/ 3 The Chu-o Koron, March, 1917. 

Tanizaki, Jun-ichiro. "Prohibition of Publications Criticized/' The Chu-o 
Koron, May, 1916. 

Tokutomi, Soho. "The General Trend of Journalism and the Mission of the 
Press/' The Shinjidai, July, 1918. 

Toshikaku-Shujin. "Exposure of the Internal Circumstances of Ten Large 
Tokyo Newspapers/' The Chugai, November, 1917. 

Tsushima, Kennosuke. "The Responsibility of Journalists/' The Shinjidai r 
July, 1918. 

Uchida, Roan. "A Glimpse of Approaching Social Transformation in Japan," 
The Taiyo, May, 1918. 

Ukita, Kazutami. "Journalism and Journalists/' The Shinjidai, October, 1917, 

"Reply to the Criticism Passed on My Essay on Journalism/' The Shin- 
jidai, December, 1917. 

Uyeda, Mannen. "My Opinion about the Newspaper," The SMnjidai, 
December, 1917. 

Uzaki, Rojo. "The Past, Present, and Future of the Military Clan of Japan, 
The Chugai-Shinron, January, 1919. 

1 A large number of valuable articles concerning political affairs were published 
every month in the Taiyo, and they have been referred to by the writer. With the 
exception of a few articles which were especially quoted, they have been omitted in 
this bibliography. 


Wakamiya, Unosuke. "Organized Violence of the Journalists/' The Shinjidai, 

July, 1918. 
Yano, Ryukei. "Journalistic Experiences of My Friends/' The Taikan, 

October, 1918. 
Yoshino, Sakuzo. "My Impressions on Reading the Instructions Given by 

Our Premier and Foreign Minister," The Chu-o Koron, March, 1917. 


All the leading Japanese newspapers were consulted; but those which are 
mentioned below have been carefully studied for the periods stated: 

Asaki, The Osaka (1918), 

Asahi, The Tokyo (1916-20). 

Chu-o, The (1916-20). 

Hdchi, The (1918). 

Japanese-American News, The (1918-20). 

Jiji, The Tokyo (1918). 

Kolumin, The (1918-19). 

Yorow, The (1917-20). 



Advertising, 44, 45, *o4> 116, 117; 

agency, 47, 111, 112; commercial, 44, 

46, 103, 104; Income from, no, in; 

increase in, 4, 103, in; in leading 

newspapers, in; rate of, iro, in 
Agitation, anti-government, 88, 90; 

anti-tax, 136, 137, 138; political, 74? 

75, 77, 78, 79, So, 133, 142; public, 

go, 123, *33, 162 
Akebono Shimbun, 82 
Akiyama, Teisuke, 132 
Amaterasu, sun-goddess, n 
America, 24, 25, 31, 40, 41, 69, 83, 84; 

educational system of, 35; ideas of, 78; 

Independence of, 72 
Asabuki, Eiji, 85 
Asada, Koson, 154 
AsaM, 117 

Asakura, Kamezo, 15, 41, 44 
Ashikaga school, 15 
Assembly, National, 3, 4, 58, 61, 64, 65, 

72, 73, 75, 76, So, 82, 88, 109; Hall, 87, 

92, 125, 142, 147 

Associated Press of America, 113 
Association, 59, 63; of business men, 137; 

to support Count Okuma, 150 
Awa, KLatsu, 49, 52 
Awakening, of masses, 4, 136, 166, 167; 

national, 52; political, 4, 136, 137 

Bakin, 44 

Ballads, 15, 19, 20; singers, 15, 16; 

street, 15, 1 6 

Bankoku Shiwibun, 46, 47 
Batavia SMmbun, 39 
Bentham, 72 

Berry, first publisher of advertising, 46 
Bill, enforcement of foreign treaty r 96; 

impeachment, 96, 101, 142, 146; 

Press Law revision, 90, 96, 101, 102; 

taxation, 125, 137 

Budget, 87, 88, 128, 147; naval, 87, 148, 

Bureau, Imperial Household, 56; for the 
Investigation of Western Literatures, 38; 
of official gazette, 105; of transporta- 
tion, 3, 31; Police, 120 

Bureaucracy, 127, 132, 138, 149, 150, 
164, 167; Prussian, 78; reactionary, 
152; attitude toward journalism, 159? 
160; decline of, 136 

Cabinet, 50, 125, 130, 139; coalition, 152; 
the First Okuma, 126, 164; the Fourth 
Ito, 127, 128; Hara, 164; the Second 
Okuma, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153; 
form of government established, 77; 
Ito, 88, 123; Katsura, 133, 135, 137, 
138, 140; Saionji, 135, 137, 138; 
Second Yamagata, 127; Sho-Wai, 123, 
124; Terauchi, 152, 153, 163, 164; 
will of the, 139; Yamamoto, 141, 144, 
147, 148, 150; see also Ministry- 
Carrier, common, i; newspaper, 43, 113 
Censorship, 20, 21, 59, 119, 131, 134, 154 
China, 9, 52, 53, 100, 122, 125, 129, 152 

Chinese, 100; classics, 9, 10, 98; compo- 
sition, 104; letters, 8, 9; philosophy, 
9; proverb, 149; syntax, 105; stu- 
dents, 154; territory, 53 

Chishima Go incident, 95 

Cho-aij 21 

Chokai Shimpo, 63 

Choya Shimbun, 55, 66, 76, 79, 86 

Christianity, opposed by Buddhists and 
Shintoists, 99 

, 42 
0, 117, 142, 143, 161, 162, 163 

Circulation, 4, 42, 43? 60, 72, 80, 86, 104, 
105, 106, 122; increase in, 47, 48, 104, 
108-11, 122, 135, 141, 147, 160; 
daily, of leading newspapers, 106, 107; 
rise and fall of, 109, in, 113 




Citizens' Union, 129 

Civilization, advancement of, 71; Chi- 
nese, 9; Indian, 9; Japanese, 98; West- 
ern, 52, 98 

Clan, 150; Choshu, 85; decline of, 136; 
Sat-Cho, 62, 75, 86, 87; Satsuma, 85, 
124,^141; Tokugawa, 62; Toyotomi, 
14, 15 

Class, lower, 4, 105, 136; middle, 4, 105, 
122, 135, 136; middle, of Old Japan, 
51; militaristic, 4; privileged, 167; 
relation between, 166; upper, t 3, ii4> 
122, 135, 136, 165; wage-earning, 166 

Colonial papers, 116 

Commerce, 103, 137, 165; chambers of, 
137; growth of, 103 

Communication, i, 2, 6, 28, 47, 160; 
Department of, 31; in New Japan, 
30; in Old Japan, 6; in political 
development, 80; lack of, a cause of 
disorder, 59; maritime, 6; means of, 
4, 22, 72, 80, 106, 136, 166 

Constitution, Imperial, 3, 50, 76, 78, 89, 
96, 119, 124, 126; amendment of, 
79; spirit of, 145 

Coup d'etat of li, 26 

Couriers' Association, 8; Hotel, 7; pri- 
vate, 8, 31 

Court, of Berlin, 144; English, 95; 
Imperial, 26, 29, 50, 52, 131; of Justice, 
92, 94; Shogunate, 20, 26, 38; Supreme, 

Daido Danketsu, 77, 79 

Daimyo, 7, 21, 26, 49, 51; western, 27, 
28, 49 

Dai-Nippon Kokkai Kisei Yushi-kai, 76 

Dajokan, 77 

Dajokan NissM, 39 

Democracy, 4, 5, 80, 123, 124, 164, 168; 
goal of, 167; political, 2, 167 

Department, administrative, 78, 90, 119, 
123; foreign, 131; Imperial House- 
hold, 114; of Interior, 121, 133, 161; 
judicial, 123, 142; of Navy, 142, 144, 

Despotism, 64, 67; German benevolent, 

Diet, Imperial, 79, 87, 88, 90, 92, 96, 97 
100, 101, 109, 128, 130, 132, 133, 138 
139, 146, 149-50; dissolution of, 87, 88 
96, 99, 125, 126, 131, 139, 142, 150 
disturbance in, 164; suspension of, 
96, 101; see also House 

Diplomatic, Council, 84, 87; defeat, 
101; relations, break of, 131, 133 

Discussion, freedom of, 21, 37, 50, 67, 70, 
71, 78, 88, 99, 102, 119, 123, 135, 146, 
150, 162; journalism citadel for, 82; 
political, 66, So; public, 64, 72, 83, 
91, 134^ 136; public, organ for, 59; 
suppression of, 59, 146 

Edict, Imperial, 58, 65, 75, 77, 89 

Editorial, i, 47, 48, 65, 66, 81, 82, 84, 85, 
88, 103; biased, 122; lost prestige, 121; 
radical, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 73, 74; 
signed, 61; violent, 62, 63, 64; writers, 
82, 117, 118 

Education, 4, 6, 8, 72, 106, 121, 136, 
160; democratized, 165; diffusion of, 
4, 106, 1 66; higher, 36; imperial 
rescript for, 35, 98, 99; in New Japan, 
35; in Old Japan, 8; national, 98; 
public, 35 

Eire Jiyu, 72 

Elder statesmen, 124, 126, 131, 138, 139, 
146, 148; decline of the power of, 149 

Election, 87, 96, 137, 150; government 
interference in, 87, 88, 151, 152; 
returns, 88 

Emperor, 28, 29, 49, 50, 89, 93, 131,^138, 
139, 140; as plaintiff, 95; deceived, 
139; Jimmu, 11, 63; Meiji, 50; Mut- 
suhito, 109; Seiwa, 6; Sujin, 6 

Empire, centralized, 136; Eastern, 5; 
honor of, 144; Island, 101; Roman, 72 

England, influence of, 76; ally of Japan, 
133; suit against, 95; treaty with, 26 

Expedition, American, 24; English, 24; 
Formosa, 53; Russian, 24 

Extra- territoriality, 77, 91, 94 

Far East, peace in the, 100, 125, 129 
Fiction, in newspapers, 105, 121; politi- 
cal, 72 



Flaubert, 121 

Foreign, affairs, 5, 167; exclusionist, 26, 
27; judge, 77; office, 155, 156, 157, 
158? 163; relations, 4, 49; trade, 103 

Foreigners, 91, 94, 98, 100, 141 

Formosa, 53, 116 

France, 26, 35, 76, 78, So, 95, 105, 113, 
121; in China, 125; in Three States' 
Intervention, 100; violation of neu- 
trality by, 132, 133 

Franchise, 165 

Freedom, 66, 67, 69, 97, 150; constitution 
regarding, 119 

Fujita, Mokichi, 73 

Fukuchi, Ochi (Genichiro), 61, 62, 72, 76 

Fuku-o Jiden, 72 

Fukuoka Nichi-nicM, 115 

Fukuzawa, Yukichi, 83, 84, 104, 105, 
in, 119; editorial of, 72 

Fusai SMmbun, 62, 63 

Germany, 78, 100, 125, 142, 144; in 
Three States' Intervention, 100 

Gosatorsho, 21 

Goto, Baron Shimpei, 154, 163; quarrel 
with reporters, 154-59 

Goto, Count Zojiro, 61, 64, 77, 79, So, 92 

Government, bureaucratic, 148, 164; 
cabinet form of, 77; central, 51, 64, 
65; Clan, 87, 124, 126, 148; constitu- 
tional, 60, 65, 72, 81, 97; democratic 
form of, 127; feudal, 2; free, 2, 67, 
69; Imperial, 51, 59; liberal, 164; 
new, 53, 60; non-party, 148, 152; 
parliamentary, 2; party, 127, 164; 
popular, 2, 49, 149; representative 
form of, 54, 62, 64, 75; tyrannical, 
63, 67, 68, 69, 71 

GoyuMtsu-nikMj 21 

Greeley, Horace, 83 

Griffis, W. G., 12 

Hara, Takashi, 119, 143, 144, 145, 164 
Harris, Townsend, 26 
Hausknecht, Herr, 35 
Haya Uma, 6 

Hearn, Lafcadio, 12, 13, 14, 16 
Heian Shimbun, 63 
Henry, Patrick, 62 

Hibiya Park, mass meeting at the, 133, 

140, 142 
Hideyori, 14 
Highways, 7* 32, 34 
Hijikata, 123 
Hikozo, Joseph, 40, 41 
Hikyaku, 6 
Hikyaku-yado, 7 
Hiraga, Gennai, 44 
Hochi Shimbun, 72, 73, 76, 79, 84, 86, 105, 

115, 117 

Hojo, Tokimune, 25 
Hongkong Shimbun, 39 
House, 87, 89, 90, 101, 139, 149, jso; 

aroused, 147; of Representatives, 87, 

88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 124, 125, 
126, 130, 131, 132, 135, 137, 142, 144, 
146, 151; of Peers, 96, 124, 128, 129; 
see also Diet 

Ideograph, Chinese, 9, 14, 43, no 

li, Naosuke, 26, 56 

Illustrated print, 15 

Imperial, army, 60, 138, 145; command, 
126, 138, 146, 148; Court, 26, 29, 50, 
52, 131; decree, 19, 51; House, 64, 78, 

89, 92, 112; message, 130, 131, 139; 
order, 139; ordinance, 127; palace, 
56; tutorage, 138 

Imperialism, 62, 135 

Independent, The, 139 

Industry, 137, 138, 165; control of, 166; 
development of, 4, 103 

Inouye, Marquis Kaoru, 52, 77, 8c> 126 

Inouye, Tetsujiro, 99 

International, difficulties, 4, 96; law, 
132; relations, 4, 97; strife, 135; poli- 
tics, 5, 167 

Inukai, Ki, 82, 84, 118 

Iseri, Keishi, 107 

ItagaH, Count Taisuke, 61, 64, 76, 77, 
126, 164 



Ito, Prince Hirobumi, 57, 77> 78, Bo, 89, 
96, 123, 125, 127, 128, 140; Cabinet, 
88, 123, 128 

Ito, Shimpei, 52, 53 

Ito, Viscount Miyoji, 119 

Iwakura, Prince, 51, 52, 64, 85 

lyeyasu, 7, i4> *5> 2S 

Izunii-Shikibu, 9 

Japan, 2, 5; Advertiser, 116; Chronicle, 
116; Eastern, 60; Gazette, 116; Jkto7, 
116; New, 30, 60, 136; Northern, 60, 
85; Old, 2, 3, 6, 137; Times, 116; 
Fear 00&, 104, 120, 121 

Jiji Shiwpo, 72, 73, 81, 104, 117 

Jjyur-no Tomoshibi, 72 

Jiyu-to, 76, 77? I2 5 

"Joke-books," 20 

Journalism, amateur, 3, 38; attitude of 
bureaucrats toward, 159, 160; atti- 
tude of party politicians toward, 159, 
r6o; commercial, 4, 103, 104; Japa- 
nese, handicaps of, no; independent, 
4, 122; new epoch for, 103; new ^ era 
in, 141; political, 3, 38, 60; a stepping- 
stone to success, 119; Western, 61; 
yellow, 105, 167; see also Newspaper, 
Press, and Publication 

Journalists, 10, 61, 66, 72, 81, 82, 85, 88, 
125, 141, i43> *49> 152, i53> i5S ? I5<5; 
anecdotes of, 82, 83, 84, 8$, 86, 87, 88; 
anti-government, association of, 100, 
146; association of, 124, 143, 148, i54> 
156; club, 156, iS7, 158; culture of , 84; 
distinguished, 118-19; of early days, 
86, 87; fight against censorship, 161, 
162; imprisonment of, 66; income of, 
117, 118; malcontents and radicals as, 
60; mission of, 83, 143; social position 
of, 61, 82, 117, i*8, "9J Japanese, 
weakness of, no; United National, 
conference, *44> *46 

Journals, censorship of, 119, 120, 121; 
commercial, 3, 81, 103, 104; independ- 
ent, 81, 82, 104, 122; official, 21; 
political, 3, 38, 60 

Jurisdiction, Imperial, 91; foreign, 94; 
of British, consul, 95; police, 94; 
professional, of journalists, 158 

Kabayama, 87 

Kaibara, Yekken, 10 

Kaigai Shimbun, 39 

Kaigai Skimpo, 39 

Kai-o Jidan^ 61 

Kaiser Wilhelm, 63 

Kaishin-to, Rikken, 76, 79 

Kana, 9, 43, no 

Kasumi Club, 156, 157 

Kato, Vice-Admiral T., 148 

Kato, Viscount Takaaki, 119, 156,. 

Katsura, Prince Taro, 129, 133, 138, 139, 


Kawara-ban, 14 
Keihan MainiM Shimlun, 63 
Keihin Mainichi, 76, 79 
Keio, Gijiku, 84; University, 72 
Keizai ShimpOj 84 
Keizai Zasshi, 84 
Kenseikai, 119, 140 
Kensei-to, 90, 126, 127, 130, 133, 


JKibyosM, 20 

Kido, Koen, 51, 5 2, 54, 57 
Kishida, Ginko, 40 
Kiyoura, Viscount, 148 
Kobe Herald, 116 
Kojo Nisshi, 39 

Koko Shimbun, 47, 60, 6r, 62, 70 
Kokumin, 104, 117, 133, 140 
Kokitrnin Kyokai, 101, 102, 124 
Kokumin Nenkan, 103 
Kokuminto party, 84, 118 
Komatsubara, Eitaro, 68, 69 
Konjaku Monogatari, 14 

Korea, 25, 52, 100, 101, 116, 129, 
131; mcident with, 52, 53, 55, 64, 75, 

Kublai-Kahn, 25 

Kuroiwa, Shuroku, 105, 143, 144, 146, 

148, 158, 162, 163 
Kyoto Nichi-nicM f 8, 26, 63 



Labor, disturbance, 166; markets of 

other Asiatic states, 166; organization, 

165; problems, 121, 165, 166; strikes 

and uprisings, 165, 166 
Laborers, of Japan, 165; of Western 

countries, 165; poverty of, 165 
Lampoon, 20, 21, 24; Hoei, 21 
Law, 98; civil service, 127; college of, 

134, 135; Imperial, ^91, 94, 165; 

international, 132; libel, 66, 70; 

martial, 134, 140; old despotic, 119; 

press, 66, 70, 81, 90, 96, 101, 102, 120; 

violation of, 137 
League, Anti-Russian People's, 129; of 

Three States, 100, 120, 125 
Liaotung Peninsula, roo, 101, 125 
Library, 37; Imperial, 37; Kanazawa, 9 
Literary, articles, 116; style in journal- 
ism, 104, 105; work, 9; world, 119 
Literary Digest, 141 
Literature, Chinese, 9, 10, 98; common, 

i, 8; Dutch, 38; journalistic, 43, 104; 

vernacular, development of, 9, 98; 

Western, 27, 38, 105, 117 
Lithographing, 14 
London, 61, 113; papers, 61; Times, 79 

Mail, 7, 8, 30, 31 

Makino, Baron, 156, 157 

Manchuria, 101, 116, 125 

Manifesto, by university professors, 129; 

for assassinating wicked man, 57, 58; 

of French Revolution, 67 
Martin, F. L., 113 
Maruyama, Ryuhei, 104 
Masses, 3, 122; meeing of, 78, 79, 101, 

*33> 140? 142, 149; mental situation of, 

1 60; political awakening of, 4, 136, 

166, 167; power of, 125 
Matsuda, Masahisa, 119 
Matsukata, Marquis, 146 
Matsumoto, K., 75 
Matsuoka, K., 137 
Matsushita, G., 148 
Matsuyama, C., 143, 162 
Maupassant, 121 

Mayeshima, Baron, 30 

Meiji, Emperor, 50; Era, 21, 60, 72; 

regime of, 35 
Meiji SMmpo, 119 

Memorial, 64, 75, ?8, 79, 89, go, pi, 95, 
96, 131; impeachment, 93; joint, 60 

Military party, 138; agreement of, 154; 
decline of, 136; domination, 164 

Minamoto, Takakuni, 14 

Minister, of Agriculture and Commerce, 
147; British, to China, 53; of Educa- 
tion, 69, 134, 135; of Finance, 147; 
Foreign, 78, 154, 155, 156; of Imperial 
Household, 123, 131, 140; of the Inte- 
rior, 78, 90, 97, 120, 134, 143, 152, 161, 
162, 163; of the Left, 75; Lord, 56; 
of the Right, 52; of Navy, 120, 142, 
148, 149; .State, 85, 86, 89, 95, 142, 
146, 147, 150; of War, 120, without 
Portfolio, 81, 83 

Ministry, 124; the First Katsura, 129, 
135; Kiyoura, 148, 149; the Second 
Saionji, 138; Terauchi, 152, 153, 164; 
Yamamoto, 147, 148; see also Cabinet 

Minoura, Katsundo, 73, 119 

Miyatake, Gaikotsu, 67, 69 

Mizuno, Minister of the Interior, 161-63 

Moshiogusa, 60 

Motoyama, Hikoichi, 109 

Muckraking, 105, 3560 

Murai, Gensai, 105 

Murata, T-, speech of, 14^ 

Mutsu, Viscount Munemitsu, 119 

Nagasaki, 24, 26; steel mill, 42 

Nagasaki Press, 116 

Nagata Club, 157 

Naigai Shimbun, 60 

Nakamura, Tekisai, 10 

Nation, 136, 142, 144, 167; crisis in, 71; 
political development of, 167; seclu- 
sion policy of, 23; self-consciousness of, 
4, 97; unified, 97, 135 

Nationalism, 4, 5, 97, 102, 168; enlight- 
ened, 168; growth of, 98, 135; reac- 
tionary, 4, 97 



Natural-rights doctrine, 60, 62, 66, 76 

Navy, 148, 150; circle, 141, 148; officials, 
141; scandal case, 141, 144; strength of, 

News, 1,4, 66, 121 ; biased, 122; foreign, 
113; general, 117; war, 4, 82, 104 

News-gathering agency, 112, 143; inter- 
national, 112 

Newspapers, i, 2, 38, 59, 60, 61, 66, 72, 
77, 80, 88, 101, 102, 128, 129, 135, 138, 
139, 144, 149, 150; anti-government, 
79, 92 ; brokers, 114; Bureau of, 40; 
business management of, 81; censor- 
ship of, 20, 21, 119, 131, 134; Chinese, 
pro-Russian, 132; clipping supply 
agencies, 114; colonial, 116; country, 
115, 118; demand for, 59; develop- 
ment of, ii, 43; dictionary for, 43; 
distributing agencies, 113, ii4> i*5> 
early difficulties with, 42; English, 
116; evening, 114; expense of pub- 
lishing, 107, 1 08; financial condition 
of, no; the first daily, 42; foreign- 
language, 116; forerunners of, n; 
government, 92, 1405 "Great-," 43, 84; 
Japanese, handicaps of, no; illus- 
trated, 15; independent, 4, 8r, 122, 
136; Japanese, make-up of, 116,^117; 
metropolitan, 143, 161; as a political 
force, 60; power of, 128; private, 60; 
provincial, 115; publication of, 59, 
81, 87; r6le of, So, 141, 160, 167; 
sample copies of, 108; "Small-," 43; 
support of, 151, 152; vernacular, 41, 
116; and war, 136; Western, 38, 41, 
42, no, 116, 117 

Niigata SMmbun, 82 

Nippo, 92 

Nippon, 79, 123 

Nippon and Nippon-yin, 146 

Niroku, 105, 115, 132 

NissMn Shinji-shi) 65 

Noble, 85, 114, 164 

Oath 5 Charter, 50, 65; public, 50; of 

Restoration of Meiji, 58 
Official gazette, 21, 39, 60 
Okubo, Toshimichi, 51, 52, 54, 55> 5$, 57, 

58, 64,* assassination of, 54, 59 

Okuma, Marquis Shigenobu, 36, 52, 57, 
75? 76> 78, 79j 80, 85, 87, 124, 126, 
149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 164 

Organ, of Daido Danketsu, 79; factional, 
122; for public discussion, 155, 156, 
157; government, 39, 76, 92, 133, 141, 
142, 143, 144; party, 4, 72, 76, 79, 
81, 82, 103, 112, 116 

Osaka, 7, 8, 30, 140, 144, 161; Asahi, 
81, 104, 105, 117; Mainichi, 81, 104, 
109, 119; NippOj 62, 63; ShimpOj 63, 

Otani, $., 148, 163 

Oura, Viscount Kanetake, 152 

Outlook, The, 140 

Oyama, Prince Iwao, 126, 146 

Ozaki, Yukio, 82, 83, 84, 119, 139 

Park, Robert E., 2 

Participation, i, 22; in common life, 5; 
in control of industry, 166; goal of 
democracy, 167; in political struggle, 
80; in politics, 3; in public affairs and 
public opinion, 136 

Party, political, 37, 76, 77, 82, 90, 99, 101, 

125, 131, 133, 135, 140, 149; antipathy 
toward, 152; anti-government, 76, 
87, 88, 92, 97, 101, 126, 142, 146, 
152, 164; clan, 126; conservative, 54, 
60, 77; constitutional, 126; Consti- 
tutional Imperialist, 76; Doshikai, 
112, 140; government, 97, 101, 124, 

126, 137, 142, 146, 147* i$i; Imperial- 
ist, 54; Liberal, 76, 77, 87, 126; Ken- 
seikai, 119, 140; Kokurninto, 84, 118; 
military, 52, 138; Nationalist, 101, 
102; Progressive, 87, 76, 78, 79? 87, 
90, 124, 126; Seiyukai, 112, 119, 127, 
128, 130, 133, 137,^ 138, 142, 147, 
150, 151, 164; subsidies of, 81 

Patriotic, Association, 76; League, 74 
Peace Preservation Regulation, 78 

People, 79, 139, 167; growing revolu- 
tionary/ 167; guidance of the idea of 
the, 153; power of the, 167; will of the, 

Periodicals, 103, 124, 144 

Perry, Commodore, 24, 25, 27, 31, 40 



Petition, to the Emperor, 28, 51, 143, 
144, 146; for establishing a national 
assembly, 74 

Philosophy, 80; Buddhist, 98; Chinese, 
9; French revolutionary, 80; revolu- 
tionary, 72; Western, 66, 72, 80 

Police, 101, 133, 139, 142, 143, I44J 
Board of, 142, 143, 150; conflict with, 
133; metropolitan, 133, 142, 143; 
Superintendent General of, 134; vio- 
lence, 143 

Policy, administrative, 148, 150, 152; 
democratic, 124; despotic, 124; 
financial, 138; foreign, 26, 79, 100, 
141, 152; national seclusion, 23; 
open-door, 27; public-loan, 150 

Political, affairs, 141, 167; associations, 
75, 76, 101; awakening, 4, 136, 137; 
consciousness, 151, 167, corruption, 
127, 128; demonstration, 140; devel- 
opment, 2, 3, 4, 5, 167; institutions, 
149, 151; institution, extra-legal, 
80; life, 72, 151, 167; offense, 63; 
organization, 75, 76, 97; riot, 88, 
133, 134, 139, 140, 141, 143, 160; 
situation, 149; storm, 147; sub- 
consciousness, 167; trend, 136 

Politicians, 87, 122, 127, 138, 144; 
attitude of, toward journalism, 159, 
160; manipulation of journalists by, 

Politics, 5, 122, 124, 127, 136, 137, 138, 
140; autocratic, 139; control of, 149; 
corrupt, 127, 128, 144; international, 
5, 167; of Ito, 123; local, 150; minis- 
terial, 149; national, 5, 150, 167; 
party, 138, 150; practical, 164 

Pooley, Andrew M., 142 

Population, So; increase in, 106,* na- 
tional, 5, 168 

Portsmouth, Treaty of Peace at, 133, 

Post-offices, number of, 32; private, 8 

Postal system, 7, 8, 30, 31, 72 

Power, of the masses, 125; to suspend 
publications, 123; Western, 23, 27; 
Western, pressure of the, 94; world-, 
98, 100 

Prejournalistic period, ir 

Press, i, 3, 165, 168; freedom of the, 78, 
153; influence of the, 160; law, 
66, 70, 81, 90, 96, 101, 102, 120, 123; 
non-partisan, 124; political function 
of the, 80; power of the, 141, 149, 164; 
printing, 2, 5, 30, 37, 65; rdle of the, 
i, 2, 80, 136, 141, 160, 167; rotary, 
105, 115; strength of the, 125 

Printing, handicaps of Japanese, no; 
development of, 42, 72 

Privy Council, 64, 74, 89 

Public, 64, 79, 86, 90, 92, 98, 118, 122, 
131, 133, 135, 136, 144, 145, 148, 149, 
152, 165; affairs, 136; appeal to the, 
150; denunciation, 128; general, 50, 
61, 133, 152; opinion, i, 2, 4, 22, 23, 

58, 60, 65, 80, 81, 100, 122, 126, 132, 

*35> *37> 142, 146, I47> *49> I 5i 164; 
opposition of the, 78, 139; power of 
the, 4, 122, 141; psychology of the, 
154; sentiment, 131, 141, 145* *S> *6o; 
susceptibility of the, 160 
Publication, expense of, 1 10; freedom of, 
78, 153, 162; power to prohibit or 
suspend, 123, 124; prohibition of, 120, 
121, 146, 1 6 1, 162; suspension of, 

59, 81, 87, 88, 90, 97, 101, 120, 123 

Radical, 54, 60, 66, 76, 77, 167 
Railways, 32, 33, 72; bureau of, 32 

Reactionary, bureaucracy, 152; move- 
ment, 98 

Rebellion, 62; of Kagoshima, 54, 73; 
of Saga, 52 

Reformation of Taikwa, 6 

Re*gime, feudal, 7, 50, 85; of Meiji, 
62; new, 28, 49; Shogunate, 23, 27, 

Resolution, 89, 129, 143; of business- 
men's meeting, 137; impeachment, 146; 
of United Journalists, 124, 142, 144, 
r$6, 162; non-confidence, 93, 96, 101, 
125, 139, 142 

Restoration, 3, 20, 34, 47, 51, 52, 65, 98, 
I0 3> I 37J ignorance in regard to, 28; 
of power to the Emperor, 28; Three 
Heroes of the, 54 

Renter's Agency, 112, 113, 142 



Revolution, 28, 63; act of, 139; Ameri- 
can, 72; French, 67, 68, 72; in Japan, 
29, 54 

Richter, Karl, 141, 142, 144 

Rikugo Sodan (Universal News), 39 

Riot, epidemic nature of, 161; house- 
wives', 161, news, 161, 162; political, 
88, I33> *34, I39> I4o. *4i, 142, I43> 
145, 1 60; publicity incited, 161; rice, 
160, 161, 162, 163 

Rohokan bookstore, 39 

Ronin, 15, 85; of Ako, 15 
x&otary press, 105, 115 

Russia, 24, 26, 100, 101, 116, 125, 129, 
130, 131, 133, 138; in Three States' 
Intervention, 100; expedition, 24; in- 
vasion in Manchuria and Korea, 125, 
129; fleet, 125, 129, 131, 132; spy 
case, 132 

Saigo, Marquis Judo, 126 

Saigo (great), Takamori, 49, 51, 52, 54, 
55, 57, 82; fall of, 54 

Saimon, 16 

Saionji, Marquis, 119, 135, 137, *3 8 

Saito, Minister of the Navy, 142 

Saito, Shuichiro, 92 

Samurai 3, 23, 53, 56, 122; discon- 
tented, 54; ex-samurai as couriers, 
43; lower, the innovator, 51 

Sando-Bikyaku, 7 

Sanjo, Prince Sanetomi, 57 

Schools, attendance of, 36; number of, 
36; provincial, 9; public, 35; tech- 
nical, 35 

Scribbling, 14 

Seiron, 79 

Sei-shonagon, 9 

Seiyo Zasshi, 41, 42 

Seiyukai party, 112, 119, 127, 128, 130, 
*33 5 I37> 138, 142, 147, *5> *5*> ^4 

Senate, 65, 74, 75> 79 

Sensationalism, 105, 167 

Sensoku-Rojin, 159, 160 

Seoul Press, 116 

Share-Ion, 20 

Shimada, Ichiro, 55, 56, 57, 58 

Shimada, Saburo, 81, 88, 119, 128 

Skimbun Kogiroku, 46, 106, rro, nr, 115 

Shimizu, Cho, 120 

Shin Aichi, 115 

Skin-Jidai) no 

$hinju~Kai, 158, 161, 162, 163 

Skin-Nippon, 146 

Shogun, 28, 49, 50; court of, 20, 26; 

Tokugawa, 7, 20, 26, 27, 28, 38 
Shohei-ko, 9 
Siemens case, 141 
Social, control, i, 124, 151; institution, 

2; life, 167; organization, i, 167; 

position of journalists, 61, 82, 117, 118, 

119, 137; problems, 121; scale, 137; 

unrest, 160 
Somo Zasshi, 63 
Song, u ; old Japanese, 12, 13, 14, 17, 

18, 19 
Sovereignty, de facto, 28, 295 dejure, 38, 

29; of the people, 76 
Soyejima, Count Taneomi, 61, 64 
State, 136, 167; affair, 51; common life of 

the, 5; constitutional, 89; councilor, 

75, 85; family of, 98; foreign, 79, 96, 

100 ; foundation of the, 137; ideal, 167; 

neighboring states of Asia, 52, 53; 

so-called democratic, 167? Western, 64, 

78, 98 
Statesman, 133; bureaucratic, 138; clan, 

126, 149; democratic, 153; and jour- 
nalism, 159, 160; practical, 152 
Story, human interest, 105; newspaper, 

105; political, 72; serial, 105; telling, 

Subscription, 103; price, 105, no; rebate 

of price, 1 08 

Suehiro, Tetcho, 66, 70, 71, 73, 74 
Suematsu, Kencho, 72 
Suffrage, organization, 165; reform, 165; 

universal, 165; woman, 165 
Syllabary, 9, 43 

Taguchi, UHchi, 84, 85 
Taiho Era, 8; Code of the, 8 



Tatyo, 153 

Takahashi, Goro, 99 

Taketomi, Tokitoshi, 119 

Tax, 89, 136, 137, 138; on foreigners, 

Teikoku-to, Rikken, 76 

Telegraph, 31, 32, 33 

Telephone, 31, 32, 33 

Terauchi, Count, 152, 163, 164; Instruc- 
tion by Premier, 153, 154 

Three States* Intervention, 100, 120, 

Tile-block print, 14 

Tokugawa, Shogun, 7, 49, 60; factors 
worked destruction to the, 27; govern- 
ment, 14, 23; lyeyasu, 7, 14, 15,. 28; 
Keiki, 28, 49; Prince, 148; regime, 
7, 8, 9, 21 ; vassals of, 49, 60; Yoshi- 
mune, 10 

Tokutomi, Soho, 104, 105 

Tokyo, 127, 128, 137, 139? 142, 145, 161; 
Akebono Shimbun, 63; Asahij 117, 
151; Bay, 85; city council of, 133; 
Eire SMmbun, 43; Jiji Shimpo, 81; 
Kanaji Skimbun, 43; Kinji Shimpo, 
63; Koron, 79; MainicM, 115, 128, 
142, 143; Maiyu, 115, 117, 143; 
municipal government of, 128; Nichi- 
nichi^ 6i, e 76, 115, 7, "9, I43J 
SJiinji Shimbun, 63; Shimpo^ 76; set 
afire, 134; Yukan, 115 

Tomizu, Kanjin, 134, 135 
Toun Shimbun, 79 

Translation, department of, 38; of 
Dutch newspapers, 39; of New York 
papers, 39; of Western newspapers, 41 

Transportation, i; Bureau of, 30, 31; 
water, 32, 34 

Treaty, 26, 78, 79> 82, 90, 91, 94, 97; 
Anglo- Japanese, 79, 95, 133; of 
commerce, 26; controlled by news- 
papers, 82; enforcement of, 96; nego- 
tiations with China, 152; on equal foot- 
ing, - 97; of Portsmouth, 133, 139; 
revision, 4, 77-79, 9*, 94, *oo; Russo- 
Japanese, 132 

Twenty-Sixth Cenfyry, 123 

Type, no; copper, 15; movable lead, 

42, 72 movable wood, 39, 61 
Typewriter, no 

Uji-Ishu, 12 

United States, 113, 116; President of 

the, 83 
University, 35, 38; Imperial, of Tokyo, 

36, 38, 98, 99, 129, 134; Imperial, of 

Kyoto, 135; the oldest, 8; private, 

36; professors' trouble, 134 

Wages, 165, 1 66; amount of, 166; earner, 
165, 166; minimum living, 166; raise 
in, 1 66 

War, 136; against the government, 101; 
against Korea, 52; civil, 47, 49, 52, 
53, 72, 80, 106, 136; German- Japanese, 
no; Great, 4, 136, 152, 164, 166; 
Japan-China, 4, 47, 97, 100, 103, 106, 
109, 113, 120, 122, 129, 131, 135, 136; 
and newspaper circulation, 106; Russo- 
Japanese, 4, 105, 106, 109, 129, 131, 
135, 136, 138, 141, 160. 

Watanabe, Chiaki, 40 

Wealth, distribution of, 166; increase of, 
4, 136,166; producing community, 1 66 

Western, civilization, 52, 98; invader, 
125, 126; journalism, 61; literature, 
27, 38, 105, 117; Literatures, Bureau for 
the Investigation of, 38; newspaper, 38, 
41, 42, no, ii 6, 117; philosophy, 66, 
70, 80; powers, 23, 27, 94; state, 64, 
78, 98; visitors, 24 

Wood block, 42, 6 1 

World's Work, 149 

Yamagata, Prince Aritomo, 126, 127, 128,, 

146, 152 

Yamakawa, Kenjiro, 134 
Yamamoto, Count Gombei, 139, 141, 144,, 


Yamanouchi, Yodo, 28 
Yamato SMmbun, 115, 117 
Yainawaki, Ki, 69 
Yanagawa, Shinzo, 41 
Yano, Fumio, 84 
Yedo, 7, 8, 15, 24, 26; Bay, 25 


"Yellow-covers," 20 Yorozu, 105, 115, 117, *43 

Yokohama, 24, 46, 85, 127, 142; Main- Yorozuya, Heishiro, 38 

ichi Shimbun, 42 YoshicMka, 43 

Yokoi, Toki-o, 99 YosMuye, 162, 163 
Yomiurl Shimbun, 14, 43, 86, 105, 117 

Yoritomo, 28 a Zankan Jo/' 56, 57 

pthitr Hthrarg 

Presented to the Library by 

Kansas City 

128 c